Effictio (ef-fik’-ti-o): A verbal depiction of someone’s body, often from head to toe.
His skin was a tribute to Postmodernism—a critique of the grand narratives affording space and surfaces the restrictive positioning of images and linguistic structures, keeping repressive borders intact as if they were mandated by a ‘natural order’ emanating from God.
Mr. Mellon had overcome all that with his body’s free-range tattoos: a Modernist’s nightmare!
Of his 200+ tattoos, he had a frame from “Little House on the Prairie” inked on his chest. In the tat, Charles is inked in, headed to the outhouse with a piece of newspaper in his hand. Alongside the “Little House,” there’s a hammer and sickle from the flag of the now-defunct Soviet Union. Centered on his belly button, there’s a durian fruit with passed-out people lying around dressed like dentists. Tony Soprano and Richard Nixon sit on a cloud on the right side of his neck with the number “9” being carved on it by Albert Einstein wielding a jackhammer.
It would take 100s of pages to describe and catalogue Mr. Mellon’s tattoos. Suffice it to say, from head (a question mark on his nose) to toe (a bleeding cut with stitches), his random tattoos project a sort of “I don’t give a shit” mentality which unfortunately projects a quality of rugged individualism, a keystone of Modernism. However, fortunately, it projects a directionless trajectory: going nowhere, the tattoos display an all-consuming disregard for “normal” and challenge the taken-for-granted preference for everyday life and regimes of truth that unreflectively promulgate it.
Mr. Mellon will be on display in a ventilated glass booth daily at the Notting Hill tube stop from October 5- 9, 1.00-3.00 pm. He will be wearing a spa towel to cover his privates, but the rest of him will be unclothed and on-view as he slowly rotates on a turntable repurposed from a record player manufactured in the late 1960s.
Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu)
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