Untitled (Illusion and Disappointment I) 

2008

 

 

Digital prints, audio

Four pieces, 23.62 × 35.43 inches each

 

 

After collecting discarded instant lottery tickets, a graphologist interpreted the marks left on the stubs when the buyer scraped the removable strip in order to analyze the personalities of the people who scratched and threw away the tickets. The interpretations are presented as audio clips accompanying a series of digital prints that correspond to the marks on each lottery ticket. 

 

Our first impression when we look at Untitled (Illusion and Disappointment I) is of white stains on a black background. Headphones hang beneath each of the four images; we hear a voice describing an individual’s personality.

 

This work is based on instant lottery tickets, the kind that requires you to scrape a vinyl surface concealing your fate. The artist recovers the scraped off part in order to reproduce it on a larger scale and send it off for a graphology testhandwriting analysis.

 

The graphologist analyzes the types of scraping found on the tickets; in his report, he tries to identify the person who bought it, striving for a clearer sense of people’s emotional states when they seek to instantly improve their luck. But these reports impose the graphologist’s opinion of the image and potentially alter the viewer’s own impression.

 

Graphology doesn’t have a solid scientific basis, but it is popularly viewed as a way to decipher an individual’s personality based on the lines and strokes of his handwriting. As in various of her other projects, like Untitled (New Worlds), Irizar questions the visualization methods and types as practiced by particular sciences and pseudo-sciences, presenting them as subjective approaches, rather than realities, that build fictional narratives. In this way, for the artist, the graphologist’s evaluations become character descriptions in a work of fiction.

 

The piece, based on the traces of small personal defeats, is also a reflection on chance. In the instant lottery, luck is linked to money, a subject the artist has explored in pieces like Untitled (Pilferage). In this way, some of Irizar’s works focus on the value of money, and on its ambivalence as something that can be simultaneously positive and negative. The artist observes this dichotomy with respect to chance, too. In Untitled (Illusion and Disappointment I), chance and money are addressed in terms of their ability to construct emotions, which are then reflected in the images derived from the ticket scrapings.

 

This work carries on with Untitled (Illusion and Disappointment II), in which Irizar continues to collect instant lottery tickets and send them off for handwriting analysis. This time, though, she changes these tickets’ luck: she takes the shapes produced by scraping the vinyl surface and transfers them onto a gold sheet. This project continues a dialogue not only with the piece that subsequently develops, but also with Irizar’s other pieces about chance, such as Untitled (Proof of Chance); about the remnants we think we have to recover in Untitled (On Wear and Tear); or about changes in social and economic value when commonplace objects or materials are transformed into highervalue ones, as occurs in Untitled (Nature of Imitation). 

Ilusion and Disappointment

Magnolia de la Garza

Untitled (Illusion and Disappointment II) 

2011

 

 

 

Gold sheet
Infinite series

(on this publication:1, 2, 3 and 4)
Variable dimensions (Aprox 1.9 inches)

 

 

The extracted marks of the piece Untitled (Illusion and Disappointment I) were transferred onto gold sheets to capture, through a material of great monetary value, two emotions expressed by the person who scraped and discarded the ticket: first, the excitement of imagining he could win the lottery; second, the disappointment of realizing he didn’t have the winning ticket.