“The Fate of The Artist” outlines in a manner reminiscent of Magritte’s “The Treachery of Images” Cec n’est pas Eddie Campbell.
The work’s convoluted and often discursive narrative strands form response to Roland Barthes’ proclamation that ‘the birth of the reader must be at the cost of the death of the Author’, to the Dewey Decimal Classification of graphic novels and presents an impressively wide-ranging commentary upon the arts, a fictionalised history and indeed a probing into the means employed to construct and to perceive identity.
Comprised of narrative accounts, of graphic interludes, of interspersed comic strips (aged and attached) and of interviews presented here through photos, the work draws question towards empirical evidence, constantly inverting and reverting upon itself the constructions of reality that it structures.
Eddie Campbell is missing yet at once is ever-present if only in the guise of constructed absence through this unusual and challenging latest addition to the graphic novel oeuvre presented here by the new imprint First Second This is a highly unusual and thought-provoking work that benefits from and rewards multiple close readings.
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