These are stories; the narratives points on which to hang ideas, the ideas manifest as art.
3.Merlin, Gunther, Kali story
Artists and works
7.The first 7 pages of This is my Merlin tell me yours, written by zeak Saveloy and norm du plum, art by jacklyn Normes
8. Armen Hendersons found object assembalage, ‘eggs oblivion’ in situ in his hime and studio
9. Armen ehndersons , doll man’s what the future diorama
10. ben didley
Artists and works
11. Sharn Mary Right, discusses the work with Mathew Arhew
12. My Merlin mix tape
13. readers corner
Bibliography so you can peruse these ideas and other stories that will lead you down a merry garden path
13.3 Jeffrey of Monmouth
13.4 Myrddin Wyllt —”Myrddin the Wild”
Merlin is a proto Nationalist figure, he unifies time and space and becomes a guide to identity and shared stories both good and bad. Gunther has to be clueless so that like a child he can ask but why? That is why he must come from the past to the future to ask from an outside perspective yet one we can still relate to. His naivety and ignorance is only possible this way. In his ignorance he see the world we live in differently to us who already have a fixed notion of why things are what they are, why we believe what we believe and also why those that don’t, don’t. Through Gunther’s eyes we can see our world anew and see ourselves differently.
Merlin and Gunther are symbiotic story elements one exists to cast light on the other. Without Gunther to boss and prod and guide Merlin is merely a passive watcher of events. Without Merlin to see and know the bigger picture and to send Gunther into the future the whole premise falls apart.
Kali provides a plot line element that adds drama to the overall story and gives Gunther’s personality depth. He is Man and king stripped of his kingliness by the future, yet his identity as such is complicated by Kali, the sister not sister who is slightly older than him, though not by much. Who is not a man or a king, yet knows of worlds and things he has never heard of. She is also there to show the gaps in history that lie between the famous men of ages. Without her presence Gunther and Merlin would not be complete. To add to this she weaves together threads from Algeria, Benin and the legends of northern Europe via Attila the Hun and the Huns Religion (Tengri religions which are spread across the Turkic speaking world through out central Asia from Turkey to Mongolia, 13.1).
Of course the irony here is that in trying to balance the male dominated narrative Kali is stuck onto the first element: Merlin/Gunther. The reason the work starts with Merlin and a king is because the context of the UK as a Nation is one written by men largely for men (see the work gender meander in drawing), if the UK was a person then in the words of Pop eye ‘I yams what I yams’, we must look at this male story and deconstruct it with a female protagonist Kali. Like the Hindu god Kali (10.2) she must dance, create and destroy, bringing together the threads of creation, threading the narrative into life.
There are paintings and then there are worlds bigger than one painting. A character in a play needs other characters to exist around and beside to give the character context, depth, meaning, purpose and drive. I wanted a larger frame work to hang my ideas off. Part of the problem was in identifying complex problem solving exercises’s I wanted to explore how then to make my work not only accessible but beguiling. The stories and characters are there to suck you into this world and see each element as part of a larger whole to explore and linger in.
The Merlin et al. story was started as a section of comic strip in another narrative. The whole set of works evolve around the idea of many different narratives that feed of each other, providing unity and unending flexibility in terms of subject and approach. As such there is the story itself and the story of the story. I have created a world of authors and artists who have written parts of the story or created artifacts about the story. So who wrote the comic? Where did the idea come to make Merlin look the way he does? These meta narratives are like little fractal lobes splintering of endlessly expanding a world of ideas and characters who can do and say things that I could not alone.
It is a technique of story writing that starts with imaging worlds, interconnected characters who’s personalities develop out of their connections and histories, the plot-lines appearing out of these connections. Put simply world = plot not plot = world.
Meta narrative objects and people
The Merlin you know was penned by Jeffrey of Monmouth (10.3) in the 12th century, Myrddin Wyllt —”Myrddin the Wild” (10.4) was likely one of his main sources for Merlin; Myrddin went mad after the battle of Arfderydd and fled to the woods where he gained powers of prophesy. History here is pretty murky and this is all nonsense anyway, I’m the real Merlin. I am older than Jeffery. older than welsh and Scottish legends of mad men in the woods. All oral and most written stories are copies of copies of older tales. The oldest tales that bare some semblance of continuity are those of the aboriginals, those of Europe and Asia are a hoj poj mix of thousands of years of nicking ideas and getting things mixed up. I was there when Cheddar man met his end and when you lot dug him up years later. I was there when the Celts arrived, the Romans, the Saxons, the Normans an the Angles n the watever’s.
lotta comin an goin there was, an is.
Now listen here right that Jeffrey took my legend an made a mess of stuff about king Arthur and all that. Now shared stories can bind and they can separate, they can be told with love and preserve bonds and they can be used as propaganda and spread hate. Ever wonder how they get one bunch ah muddy peasants to fight another bunch ah muddy peasants, while the lors n ladies putt their feet up an chew the proverbial pop corn? Eh? Stories, stories that you can believe in, stories that you have been following your whole life by an didne even realize it. Oldest trick. They been doin it for ages an still are, an you is in it.
You don wanna listen to an old man start lecturin you bout stuff. As if I know anything at all, me being so old an all. But I’ll tell you why I’m here, because it was when I was being used as a story, between all those rich folk what could read an own books. I formed a shared story of Britain, not Rome or those other kingdoms an empire but Britain, an all these different immigrants could start seeing themselves in these stories an seeing themselves as British. Even if it wasn’t true. Meanwhile the peasants couldne care less, couldn’t read anyway so it meant diddly squat to them. Their world was with God or some pagan thing or their local superstitions, there local language their family an tribal ties, their world was as far as you could walk, an they that was on the south coast felt no shared story with they who lived in the middle, or them up near Scotland. An why would they? They might as well lived on different sides of the moon for all the difference it made. Well fast forward a few hundred years an the printing press then the newspapers and such an you got shared state infrastructure, shared education, shared work cultures, shared news and stories form a shared perspective, an identity, a national one, in what late 16 hundreds or 17 hundred an somat.
So all that ramblin in the last paragraph which was entirely too long is what explains why I’m a proto national figure, an a perfect guide to identity, for what its worth to you lot reading this. An you don’t know the half of it do you? Eh what they teach you at school an what wh-
Sorry that’s enough from Merlin, I hope his character makes some sense now. For those extra keen readers heres a homework question; would you believe Merlin to a greater extent if he talked the queeens English? Or common? Would you trust or like him more or less depending on his accent? How does your Merlin talk?
407 he is 16 397 he is 6, 391 he is born 437 he dies/travels to the future at age 46
Historical King Gunther (10.5)
Like Kali he has been thrust into situations from a young age with little choice in the matter. Unlike her his role was always clear until he traveled to the future. People have always been deferential to him and not being important is hard for him to come to terms with. He often feels like an idiot but cannot accept this as he is a king! Connotative dissonance makes his temper short and his thoughts muddled yet beneath the layers of bluster, pomposity and incredulity their is a friendly boy like innocence and a desire to good, despite his privileged position he still feels a sense of duty and at rare moments finds humility and excepts his limitations. ” I am not a boy I am a 46 year old man” “if you ask me the tribe of E.U and the tribe of Brexit should gather all their gammon’s and remainers together and fight it out on the battle field with honour, why are you laughing Merlin! Stop laughing right now!”
Born 387, she is now 50
Birth place Aures mountains to a Berber (10.7)tribe, her great 6 times over niece is Dayia Al-Kahina (10.8), another great niece forms part of Dahomey Amazons (10.9).
Singled out as special, favored by the gods, has been a blessing and curse. Blessing: she would never have left her mountain village and traveled so far and wide without the prophesy. Curse: she has had no choice in any of this, she has lost roots and family set loose and alone in time. She is conflicted between always wanting to see and experience more and wanting to be left alone to a simple life. Bitter and angry at being defined as strong or sweet, at having choice being taken, yet happy to have knowledge and power to make choices, to know better. More than ever she wants to be, just be without a role or expectation.
Her need to manipulate and adapt to survive has made her very composed on the surface, underneath this composure is an unstable frustration that increasingly erupts into emotional sentimentality and cold and vindictive indifference. When this behavior appears to conform to stereo types of women she finds a hitherto unrecognized self loathing, which is countered by increasingly odd behavior. Doing John Wayne impersonations for example, “Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway. I am not having odd behavior I am fierce like a goat!”
Artists and works
Armen Hendersons found object assemblage ‘nest eggs oblivion’
Jacklyn Normes possible inspiration for Merlin came from this sculptural painting by Armen Henderson circa 1920 (incidentally Armen lived down the road from Edward Goodrich Acheson who invented the process to make silicon carbide or carborundum seriously thats what its called, anway carbide is used to make things like car brakes, car clutches and ceramic plates in bulletproof vests, the process also makes graphite. Jacky being an artist had a close connection to graphite not to mention that graphite turns to diamond under high pressure and Jackie’s dady always said she was a diamond!)
Armen Henderson was a not very well known artist whose large collection of surreal sculptures followed a personal mythology that was unknown to anyone until after his death.
In another unusual coincidence the piece appears to contain dolls arms and legs confirmed by the presence of a box of dolls limbs used in other sculptures. Jacklyn Normes also expressed herself with dolls when she created the Patty Jo Doll, this was the first black doll that did not confomr to black stereotypes and was in fact an individual character of Jackies from her comics; in Jackies words “No more. . .Sambos. . .Just KIDS!”
Arman Henderson’s found object Historical artifact for woman cartoonists and African Americans.Acorns nationalism draft
12. Merlin mix tape
Linton kwezie Johnson , Englan is a bitch
The fall Victoria
The Kinks Vilage Green Presevation society
Dread Zone Little Britain
half man half biscuit
asian dub foundation
John cooper clark
Sandy Denny, Man of Iron
james bond the selecter
curtain has fallen the specials
Identity x ray specs
Tengirinism was a series of polythestic beliefs invovling animism the belief in spirits and muiltiple deities and was spread across central asia from Turkey to Mongolia. It later became a monothesic religion with a belief in one god Tengri the sky God a heavnely farther like zues he is archetpal and of course the christian God is refered to as our heavenly farther. Vey little is known about the Huns, thier beliefs and language what we do know is mixed in with other things and tod to us by the Romans. It is thoufght that the Huns of the nothern Cuacuas eblieved in 2 gods Tengri or Tangri Han, considered identical to the Persian Esfandiyār and for whom horses were sacrificed, and Kuar (whose victims are struck by lightning) (not disimlar to the norse god Thor). In Kali’s tale she is captured by the Huns and manages to escape after an unlikely incidence wherby her would-be attacker is struck by lighting, kleaving him mad and Kali untouched. Her legend and [perceived favor with the gods convinces her allies in the Hun camop to organise her escape whcih ultimatley leads her to the Burgundian kingdom (somat) and the Burgundian king Gunther ()