Warren Breninger
Amor Vincit Omnia - Series IV (Battle Hymn)Amor Vincit Omnia - Series IV (Hail Mary)Amor Vincit Omnia - Series IV (Humiliation of the Word)Amor Vincit Omnia - Series IV (What Dachau Hated, I Love)Amor Vincit Omnia - Series III (Duty Hath No Sweethearts)Amor Vincit Omnia - Series III (A Body of Divinity)Amor Vincit Omnia - Series III (Rejected of Men)Amor Vincit Omnia - Series III (Virgin of Australian Art)Amor Vincit Omnia - Series II (Nos.1-106,1)Amor Vincit Omnia - Series II (Nos.1-106,2)Amor Vincit Omnia - Series II (Beatitudes)Amor Vincit Omnia - Series II (Nos.1-106,4)Contrition Series (Nos.1-44,37)Contrition Series (Nos.1-44,14)Contrition Series (Nos.1-44,34)Contrition Series (Nos.1-44,15)Drawing Near Series I (Nos.1-44,38)Drawing Near Series I (Nos.1-44,36)Drawing Near Series I (Nos.1-44,37)Drawing Near Series I (Nos.1-44,7)Drawing Near Series II (Nos.1-44,39)Drawing Near Series II (Nos.1-44,24)Drawing Near Series II (Nos.1-44,23)Drawing Near Series II (Nos.1-44,37)Drawings 1972-74 (David with the Head of Goliath)Drawings 1972-74 (Male Profile)Drawings 1972-74 (Self Portrait with Four Texts)Drawings 1972-74 (Father and Son)Paintings 1980-89 (Dying Harlequin - Detail)Paintings 1980-89 (Dying Harlequin)Paintings 1980-89 (Male Figure)Paintings 1980-89 (Vox Rex)Photo Based Works 1972-75 (Am I)Photo Based Works 1972-75 (E.H. Derrinallum High School)Photo Based Works 1972-75 (One of Two - Girl on a Train, Geelong)Photo Based Works 1972-75 (Portrait of the Artist's Wife as a Young Woman)Photography 1972-74 (G.H. from Derrinallum)Photography 1972-74 (Jacob and the Angel)Photography 1972-74 (J.G. Derrinallum)Photography 1972-74 (K.C. Derrinallum)Early Sculpture 1972-77 (Torso 1975)Early Sculpture 1972-77 (The Blinded Queen)Early Sculpture 1972-77 (The Budding Horn)Early Sculpture 1972-77 (The Scapegoat 1975)Early Sculpture 1968-71 (Torso 1974)Early Sculpture 1968-71 (Adam and Eve)Early Sculpture 1968-71 (Falling Figure)Early Sculpture 1968-71 (The Scapegoat 1971)Expulsion Series III (Nos.1-44,23)Expulsion Series III (Nos.1-44,38)Expulsion Series III (Nos.1-44,6)Expulsion Series III (Nos.1-44,8)Figures of Speech Series (Reichssache)Figures of Speech Series (No.2)Figures of Speech Series (No.3-6)Figures of Speech Series (No. 16-19)Gates of Prayer - Series I (Grid 3)Gates of Prayer - Series I (Nos.1-84,2)Gates of Prayer - Series I (Nos.1-84,3)Gates of Prayer - Series I (Nos.1-84,4)Resurrection Series I (Nos.1-88,1)Resurrection Series I (Nos.1-88,2)Resurrection Series I (Nos.1-88,3)Resurrection Series I (Nos.1-88,4)Resurrection Series II (Nos.1-44,43)Resurrection Series II (Nos.1-44,33)Resurrection Series II (Nos.1-44,23)Resurrection Series II (Nos.1-44,34)Resurrection Series III (Nos.1-440,1)Resurrection Series III (Nos.1-440,2)Resurrection Series III (Nos.1-440,3)Resurrection Series III (Nos.1-440,4)Self Portrait Series (Nos.1-44,37)Self Portrait Series (Nos.1-44,32)Self Portrait Series (Nos.1-44,43)Self Portrait Series (Nos.1-44,42)The Artists' Wife Series (Nos.1-44,1)The Artists' Wife Series (Nos.1-44,30)The Artists' Wife Series (Nos.1-44,40)The Artists' Wife Series (Nos.1-44,3)Union and Eclipse Series (Art as a Metaphor For Childbirth)Union and Eclipse Series (Blue Blood)Union and Eclipse Series (Moon into Blood Series No.2)Union and Eclipse Series (No.2)Women with HIV Series (Nos.1-44,2)Women with HIV Series (Nos.1-44,32)Women with HIV Series (Nos.1-44,29)Women with HIV Series (Nos.1-44,4)Collage Works (Self Portrait)Collage Works (Todler)Collage Works (Virgin Birth)Collage Works (Wall Art)Expulsion Series I (Nos.1-88,11)Expulsion Series I (Nos.1-88,81)Expulsion Series I (Nos.1-88,67)Expulsion Series I (Nos.1-88,88)Expulsion Series II (Nos.1-11,1)Expulsion Series II (Nos.1-11,11)Expulsion Series II (Nos.1-11,2)Expulsion Series II (Nos.1-11,9)Multi Panel Works 1975-79 (Falling Lamb)Multi Panel Works 1975-79 (Let me Feel the Pillars on which the House Stands)Multi Panel Works 1975-79 (Perserverance of the Saints)Multi Panel Works 1975-79 (Tomb of Eve Opened)Image & Text Works (Blackness of Darkness)Image & Text Works (Coming Down from the Mountain - T S, DHS)Image & Text Works (Figure Upheld)Image & Text Works (Five Women)Drawings 1968-71 (Drawing For Sculpture)Drawings 1968-71 (Male Figure with Double Horned Headdress)Drawings 1968-71 (Male Torso)Drawings 1968-71 (The White Shroud)Drawings 1975-77 (Female Head in Three Quarter View)Drawings 1975-77 (Heart in the Head)Drawings 1975-77 (Pieta)Drawings 1975-77 (The Heart of Things)Drawings 1978-84 (Head and Shoulders Above Water)Drawings 1978-84 (A Child's Death)Drawings 1978-84 (Two Heads 1978)Drawings 1978-84 (Two Heads 1979)Face to Face Series (No.17)Face to Face Series (No.2)Face to Face Series (No.5)Face to Face Series (No.8)Multi Panel Works 1980-94 (Drawing Near Series I - Nos. 1-44, 39-41)Multi Panel Works 1980-94 (Play and Piety)Multi Panel Works 1980-94 (The Four Acts of Submission)Multi Panel Works 1980-94 (Four Acts of Submission Configuration II)Multi Panel Works 1995-2005 (Gates of Prayer - Series I - Grid 7)Multi Panel Works 1995-2005 (Hail Mary)Multi Panel Works 1995-2005 (Resurrection of the Living and the Dead)Multi Panel Works 1995-2005 (Gates of Prayer - Series I - Grid 6)Photography 1968-71 (Collins St. 5pm)Photography 1968-71 (Portrait of Elsie Hill)Photography 1968-71 (Portrait of S.R.L.)Photography 1968-71 (Older Woman Spencer St Station)Photography 1975-79 (Resurrection at Gladstone Park)Photography 1975-79 (Door of Death)Photography 1975-79 (Portrait of the Artist's Wife as a Child)Photography 1975-79 (Two Women)The Sick Child Series (No.2)The Sick Child Series (No.4)The Sick Child Series (No.5)The Sick Child Series (No.8)Paintings 1990-2010 (Edge of the Known World)Paintings 1990-2010 (No.4)Paintings 1990-2010 (Self Portrait)Paintings 1990-2010 (Mirage)Self-Portrait Paintings (Self-Portrait 1995)Self-Portrait Paintings (Self-Portrait 1997)Self-Portrait Paintings (Self-Portrait 1998)Self-Portrait Paintings (Self-Portrait 2009)Photo Based Works 1976-83 (Figure from the Back)Photo Based Works 1976-83 (Hadassah Gropmann)Photo Based Works 1976-83 (Kensington Market 1976)Photo Based Works 1976-83 (S.R.L. - Artist's Wife 1976-84)Photo Based Works 1984-90 (Youth Approaching a City)Photo Based Works 1984-90 (Girl with Nasal Infection)Photo Based Works 1984-90 (Middle Aged Woman Crying)Photo Based Works 1984-90 (Self-Portrait with Sick Child)Drawings 1985-95 (Drawing Near Series I, No. 1)Drawings 1985-95 (Figure Study)Drawings 1985-95 (Low Profile Series, No. 7)Drawings 1985-95 (Turning Head)SRL Series (SRL 1973)SRL Series (SRL 1971)SRL Series (SRL 1978)SRL Series (SRL 1989)Tomb of Mycerinus Opened Triptych (Top Right Panel Detail)Tomb of Mycerinus Opened Triptych (Tomb of Mycerinus Opened)Tomb of Mycerinus Opened Triptych (Top Centre Panel Detail)Tomb of Mycerinus Opened Triptych (Top Left Panel Detail)Tomb of Eve Opened Triptych (Centre Bottom Panel Detail)Tomb of Eve Opened Triptych (Centre Panel Detail)Tomb of Eve Opened Triptych (Centre Top Panel Detail)Tomb of Eve Opened Triptych (Tomb of Eve Opened)Gates of Prayer - Series II (Grid 2)Gates of Prayer - Series II (Nos. 1-156, 2, detail)Gates of Prayer - Series II (Nos. 1-156, 3, detail)Gates of Prayer - Series II (Nos. 1-156, 4, detail)The Cruel Sea Series (No. 1)The Cruel Sea Series (No. 2)The Cruel Sea Series (No. 3)The Cruel Sea Series (No. 4)Women with HIV Series No. 1Women with HIV Series No. 2Resurrection of the Living and the Dead (Series II, 1)Resurrection of the Living and the Dead (Series II, 2)
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Diary Extract - ‘Figures of Speech’ Series, 1983-2015 (ongoing).
The repeated profile gesture in the ‘Figures of Speech Series’ may have originated in 1973-74, from a photograph of a seated figure leaning forward, reaching down to do up a shoe lace. This original mundane pose echoes the classical high relief ‘Goddess of Victory’ from around 408BC, still reaching for its sandal. Another seated figure from the Tomb of Higeso (420BC) is similar to early Christian images of Saints leaning forward writing the gospels, though they are either more upright or strangely casual and relaxed. They lean no further forward than the Greek vase figures of Achilles and Ajax playing draughts. One of Pisano’s Gothic reliefs of a sculptor at work comes closer to the position of this series. The Sistine ceiling that frames major biblical narratives, contains seated figures having a similar energy and tightness, yet they all overly writhe like Indian temple sculptures, twisting uncomfortably, and so exclude any symbolic/Archaic simplicity. The gesture in this series is more strenuous and fixated, labouring and having a deeper connection with even Millet’s ‘Gleaners’, Leonardo’s St Anne reaching for the Christ child, or even Tom Robert’s stooping shearing figures. These particular references and many more suggest something about the figure used, but no art image known to me gives a clear echo. Others include many of the moving figures of Mybridge, especially the seated figures, those series reaching to pick something up and those walking on all fours.

A Pre-Raphaelite work by William Waterhouse, ‘Sirene’ 1900, shows the same with less compression. Works by Degas such as ‘Awaiting the Cue’, (this one is viewed from above, making the feet and legs splay out) and figures such ‘After the Bath’ and ‘Woman bathing in a shallow tub’, depict in both cases a more extreme bowing from the waist. Hans Bellmer’s linear bodily qualities are also clearly evident, while William Blake’s anatomical and humbled ‘Newton’, 1795, is even much closer, in its anatomical / political / medical / illogical / mythological / biblical / embryological / rhythmical / hermeneutical / poetical / theological / theatrical / ironical preoccupation.

Having had a developmental connection with Godwin Bradbeer since college days, his large black figure drawings that ironically resemble in part quasi-religious, X-ray photography and Sabatier effects, have exerted their own influence and were as often as familiar to me as my own work. In Francis Bacon’s figures there are transparent forms and ever present revolving bodily flaps that share some connection. Other recent examples are Mapplethorpe’s ‘Thomas in a Circle’, 1987 and the bound tightness in much of Nancy Grossman’s drawings. A more recent echo can be seen in some of Marlene Dumas’s works, such as ‘Measuring your own Grave’, 2003 and ‘How low can you go’, 2000. Other visual domains that could be said to have been influential are areas of Medical photography, Satellite/Landsat photography, Yoga, Gymnastics, Classical ballet and Contemporary dance and the best position adopted in air crashes.

This single gesture from which the many configurations derive, represents four physical experiences that are fundamental to living in the body and are associated with four primary acts – Excretion, Copulation, Parturition and Prostration. These four acts are suggested in one or more of the rotating positions that each single figure adopts.

Excretion is limited to the upright seated or squatting position, unless it is considered as an infant having its nappy changed, on its back with legs pushed back.
Copulation can be imaginatively related to the whole cycle of positions or couplings, which yet remain stylised and symbolic.

Birthing positions apply exclusively to the female. These versions and the appropriate gesture depends on the custom or cultural practice in the present or any distant past. The profile view excludes the intrusive reality while the act stands in for a particular view of art making.

Prostration is evident in the knee bound position and is meant to carry this and the subjection of all experiences to it. It is also meant to infer spiritual possibilities that give the ultimately negative experience a victorious edge. In this context, supplication or contrition are intended to take on the same naturalness of all other bodily acts.

The Series in this way introduces the body as a divine writing system, an alphabetical progression of secret signs. The body code or language represents mouthed sounds from beyond this world where the scribe of the human is also seated with quill raised. Each figure, shown as a single gesture suggest single letters with the same letter shape inverted to make a new letter. (b/p, u/n, w/m, d/b) This connects the figure and its gestures to impenetrable and indecipherable letter/language/characters, making ordinary bodily existence/experience take on the possibility of being a living, sacred yet temporal hieroglyph.

Each single script, located among the billions written, keeps on writing until it comes to a halt (death) and the meaning of the text written by and in our own bodies never writes again with that pen. Such continuous speech dictates both the fatal and the flawless in the language of condemnation/glorification written in the body by both writers, the possessed and the possessor. One hand holds our meaning in order to declare it in the body as written indelible ink. All bodies participate, every gesture is penned so at the consummation of all things, the lived in body (the secret text) will finally be returned to its rightful owner (the writer). Only the unknown author reads the unpublished text. At and in every temporal moment, finite readers are read and examined by the infinite inexhaustible Name. The eternal Word is wrapped and folded, coming and retreating, surfacing and submerging, contracting and flourishing in each and every bodily squiggle, every convolution or clumsy scrawl. Yet the ambiguity remains, the body that moved and performed, loved and lived, was driven and directed, ever willed on by each lonely and responsible soul that inhabited it.

This folded figure curls, bows and kneels and in so doing accepts all the associations that arrive in the mind. Each position, along with the primary nature of the four acts depicted, take on connections with a wider knowledge / experience of dread, defeat, defecation, submission, consent, willingness, sufferance and paying homage. It can be seen as compromised sexually and socially, literally disarmed or prostrate before either an authority of cruel desire, or fallen under the spell of silence or a vision of holiness. Here the foetal form becomes the body’s only true form, a form of waiting to be evacuated into a new world order and filled with horror or glory.
  Figures of Speech Series