DICK THE STICK’S SAGA / THE SHAME | DIEGO MARCON
A stylized stroke figure of a soldier is the protagonist of Dick the Stick’s Saga project, a series of digital drawings representing the outline of a character – Dick indeed – depicted in different moments, but always constantly sitting on a stool, polishing his own boots.
The drawings of Dick the Stick series are simple and essential, a single black stroke on a completely white background. This essentiality reveal that this are sketches of an animated short, published in 2014 with the title Interlude (introducing Dick the Stick), from which the artist extracted each drawing, endowed them with autonomous personality.
The small emblem on his arm, the boots usually worn in the army and the helmet on his head are the elements revealing that Dick is a soldier.
The habit of polishing boots, symbolic and routine practice for the military corps members, almost seems to have become Dick’s only living reason, the goal of the day, the real and most important battle he must fight. In Dick the Stick’s Saga / The Shame we see him in a state of despair, difficulty, while with a bordering on exasperation gesture he covers his head with the same rag used to polish the boots.
We cannot know if Dick’s agony is caused by the undeclared occupations underlying being a soldier, the consequent moral responsibilities and all the ethical matters implicated, or if it represents a search of perfection, scrupulosity, accuracy, in a sort of obsessive and potentially harmful perfectionism, given the obvious imperfection of human nature.
The visual elements provided to us through the artwork are very few, repetitive and elementary, but capable of arousing an empathetic feeling towards this figure as simple as expressive. However, Dick does not look for any contact with the viewer, as a solo protagonist on the scene he remains concentrated on cleaning the boot. What Marcon seeks and pursues is not the relationship between spectator and this isolated and lonely figure, without any spatial or temporal reference, context or background, but exactly the opposite: to keep a physical and emotional distance, to leave the protagonist in a solipsistic twist. A metaphor of contemporary and global loneliness, reassumed in a daily gesture as simple as it is repetitive, which is simultaneously divisive and universal for its belonging to a uniform.
Dick the Stick’s Saga / The Shame, 2014-2016
Pre-spaced monometric black vinyl sticker, dimensions variable
Courtesy the Artist and Sadie Coles HQ, London