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Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Grimness and Death

Consider the photograph above, posted to my flickr account in April. A sample, you may think, of the self-conscious urban primitivism that has become synonymous with my name, in photographic circles. A knowing satire on concepts of compositional skill and interest in the visual arts. No, it was Inspector Knacker (me) at work on a pre-crime, like the bald woman in the tank in that film Tom Cruise was in, though I am neither bald nor a woman, and certainly couldn’t get along with Tom Cruise as a workmate without predicting, successfully, the daily crime of me shooting him out of a cannon in the general direction of whatever planet he came from.

The other night a body turned up on the road by the shutter on the left. It was an accountant who’d cooked the books to the tune of a telephone number, I hear (allegedly, let me add). Attempting to jump from an upstairs window to the speed boat he’d left waiting on the river, just out of shot to the right, he missed by a dozen yards or so. I could point to my photographic pre-crime evidence, such as the fact that Maizecor is an anagram of ‘I’m a Croze’, a reference to the Canadian actress Marie-Josée Croze, among whose film credits are Mensonges et trahisons, ‘The money was resting in my account’, and Ne le dis à personne, ‘Don’t say nowt’. The enormous Jacuzzi visible in the background, piped full of bubbling hot water twenty-four hours a day, was an obvious giveaway sign of dodgily conspicuous wealth.

Inspector Knacker at your service. Let me photograph your pre-crime scenes and I’ll get back to you with a fatuous report after the event.

‘You’re a big man, but you’re out of shape’, Michael Caine says in Get Carter to that bloke who went on to become Lord Mayor in Coronation Street. ‘With me it’s a full-time job.’ Then he pushes him over a balcony.

Grimness. Grimness and death. There’s a lot of it about. We’ve all been on the pavement. Some of us, to invert Oscar Wilde, arrive having stared at it from a great height.

Grimness and death.

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