Ascension — Nude Ascending a Staircase – 2006
Oil on canvas
75 x 61.5 cm
In the tradition of Duchamp and Richter’s nudes descending a staircase, my pixellated nude ascends a staircase. The lush red carpet is a celebrity pathway laid over a staircase of books (knowledge). The protective balustrade or guide above is made from arch lever files. Beyond the landing a patch of sky indicates that this domestic interior is also positioned with outside access. The journey of the ascension is overseen by a white winged angel in a painting within the painting to the right. Her left hand’s gesture is reminiscent of the yellow pages advertising jingle to “let your fingers do the walking”. The visible legs transport the body upwards over the pathway of well-ordered (stepped) books to attain the object of her ambitions, perhaps a transcendental state! The backdrop to the angel is a gridded bookcase containing yet more books. The books symbolically represent a generalised access to knowledge while the files represent a bureaucratic recording. If the ascension has any reference to an afterlife the files will be used judgmentally in the individual’s reckoning. It is more likely that the nude ascending the staircase is merely seeking to access the upper stor[e]y.