Monday, April 22, 2024

Michael Pajon’s works are comprised of fragments of nineteenth and early twentieth-century print matter and collectible paraphernalia: antique illustrations from matchbooks; periodicals and manuals on anatomy; figures from popular children’s books; scientific renderings of plants and animals; allegorical cabinet cards; and icons snatched from board games.

Resonating with Roland Barthes’ description of the palimpsests as a “galaxy of signifiers…that is never closed,” the collages fuse together an anachronistic constellation of signs that point to—as well as refuse—coherent narratives. Cryptic, moving, and occasionally frightening, Pajon’s works are archeological excavations into the irony and poignancy within images, and provocative responses to the various myths associated with identity. (source)

For Michael Pajon “collage is a scavengers’ medium, and though collected from the discarded, this work is not meant to be nostalgic. It is this ghost that haunts the back of your closet, and whispers to you in your sleep. These bits of bone and sinew are not unlike a memento mori – a remembrance of ones mortality – in a state of reanimation. These maps, postcards, children’s book illustrations, matchbooks, sheet music, and calling cards are the guts and gristle of common things people collected over a life, spared the fate of being buried in the rubble and shadows of once prosperous towns, of the work of the grass”.

“I see craftsman, butchers, bakers, nurses, killers, thieves, lawyers, mothers, fathers, sons, and daughters. Part of what I imagine contributed to this stony façade was the weight of a heavy heart, and the promise they hoped for lost or beyond reach. Death was part of the everyday, no matter class, color, creed or occupation. They lost family and friends to the common cold, fever, untreated wounds, and any number of incidents involving an argument with unsavory men”

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