Sara Perovic: #My Father’s Legs…

“Once visible and unlocked, they percolate #laying bizarre and metaphorically #fecund vibrating eggs of possibility in the back of the ocular orbit”



I like to think of projects like this as a manual to disarm the author’s hidden obsessions. Once visible and unlocked, they percolate #laying bizarre and metaphorically #fecund vibrating eggs of possibility in the back of the ocular orbit. There, anchored and performing faintly audible #pulsing rhythms that arouse the euphoric potential of investigation, meaning collapses and the inebriated psychosis of potential interpretation manifests. Each awakening, each stretch of the membrane of the egg threatens to explode and excoriate the inner machinery of the ocular before taking flight into the cavity or #chassis if you prefer, towards the brain pan behind the eyes.



I sit idly in a green armchair that dates to the #1980s. In the flat where I live, not much has changed from #Thee then. The former #communist occupant rented us this flat for #littlemoney, the only caveat to that is its unchanged appearance. The sofa, chairs, #art and pantry are all lined with the #consumer products of former Soviet Union. I like to think of it as a vintage #haberdashery some days with odd buttons sequestered at the back of cupboards, bits of orange-patterned wallpaper lining said pantry drawing me nearer to Star Wars, #weirdgymnastics and a profound sense of pride for an ability to work in the #mines. We have been given the option to change what we wish, but I have to admit that as a child born of capitalism, I am oddly content to bath in the awkward challenge of this flat.



The former communist, now living the compleat #EU sovereign rule of cash from chaos to cash from chaos was something of a racket man back in his day. The walls of what appears to be #formica (sadly not orange-patterned to inspire compleat #lunacy) line the bathroom and shower room. There is a greyness to its color chicken-scratched with tiny black marks completing the new 80s #block build effect. Throughout both the bathroom and the shower room are images, Adidas stickers and newspaper clippings-not so many as to be wallpaper, but enough that you can factor in a grave interest or #obsession with tennis star Ivan Lendl, some images with writing confusingly written in French. They appear to Adidas advertising stickers “The mark of the three bands”? is written underneath #Ivan and his #shortshorts. The angle on a few make me question the target audience of such Adidas. I ponder. I #evacuate.



As a #once-married man, the communist appears to have considered, but failed his abode with an intent to children within its walls perhaps with the intent singing songs of state #proletariat praise while quietly sipping away at the slivovice on the table. Homemade, this #plum concoction will potentially make you #blind or at least put the eggs behind the eyes to rest, instilling a different kind of psychosis all together. The flat, none the less bears no regard or remark as to the progeny once considered, if never reared.



I am reminded of this #carousel of potential images as I flip each frame of my imagined slide projector through the haze burning off from my early morning coffee. How the #repetition of Ivan’s bizarre #shortshorts and Adidas manufacture something closer to 90’s #pornography with wet-marked or stained #tube socks left casually drying on the arm of a different #retro sofa. I think of whether or not I can hear the music to the images on the carousel. I keep hearing #Heino for some reason not ultimately clear to me as one who has never truly heard nor considered Heino. It is all very #vague and it is all become a bit stifling.


“he repetition of Ivan’s bizarre short shorts and adidas manufacture something closer to 90’s #pornography with wet-marked or stained #tubesocks left casually drying on the arm of a different retro sofa”


Sara Perovic’s My Father’s Legs (J&L 2020) has reminded me of the #fascination that images play in our individual memory. It also reminds me of how repetition breeds #contempt which can in turn manufacture an unknown quantity of #insistence. By repeating images, one is driving home a point, overly-declared or not. In the case of Perovic, the driving image or images is ostensibly of her father and partner’s legs as they pose, play or illustrate #tennis. Perhaps it is largely imagined that the two are one. Perhaps it is #sentimental and in-between the two-what else? The small and diminutive title takes its cue from the layout of sport manuals of the 70s and 80s, themselves in some sense indebted to Muybridge or Marey in their insistence to #stopmotion and show the precision of movement needed to excel at sport. #Chronography may be the term. It may not.



Within the book are what appear to be pink archive images of Sara’s #father at sport, if we are to take the title at face value. However, the man who re-appears in multitude on the pages like Lendl is a surrogate #stand-in for desire, fetish and the traces of an archival post-Yugoslavian narrative. He is her partner and the father of her daughter mimicking her father. This is the fantasy of history, of pursuit of family and it inhabits the cerebral arena where fetish and #time fuse and reverberate through the generations in which close familial obsessions play out in theatrical need.



On the note of #fetishism, historical or other, so much concentration on such beautiful legs begs the question-“ but who would make these images and why so many”? The images of Perovic’s partner promote an anachronism through clothing. So, I play along knowing almost certainly that a pair of shorts, shoes and tube socks could be the result of the raiding of papa’s Oedipal closet. And this is brilliant. I am more than happy to let chronology be my witness and believe that Sarah’s father and his legs and her partner’s legs, with somehow #mortifying big toe, are part of the intertwined ruse of obsession. For me, a title like this bears all the brilliant hallmarks of photography’s ability to enlist the heavy projection of psychoanalysis on the work through the sliding use of #chrono-appropriation, partner-for-father role trade and repetition. This repetition, this minute study of a #body part fetish-inclined, is tantamount to our obsession for making images in accumulation.



In summary, the book is a simple, fascinating study well worth accumulating. Highly Recommended.


My Father’s Legs


Sara Perovic


J&L Books

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