The Feeling of Being Partially Buried (Being Closer To Hell) As A Reason for Appealing To the Superhuman Authority

If the protagonists of Bob Trotman’s installation “Business as Usual” could just stand on the floor, mesmerized and overwhelmed by their expectations from above, his construction would be perceived as a religious propaganda – people obviously appealing to God or over-powerful Aliens as saviors. The genuineness of this appeal is confirmed in “Cake Lady” where the protagonist tries to welcomingly bribe superhuman powers with heavenly cake for heavenly benefits imagined by earthly aspirations.

Bob Trotman, “Business as Usual” (2009)

Being substantially lower than the ground means not only to be closer to Hell – and from here comes the urgency of desire to be lifted “from here”, not only panic of being buried, that we unconsciously perceive (until we are still alive) as being buried alive, but it also means the horror of being buried by everyday life/strife of civilization full of hassles, rivalry and fears.

Bob Trotman, “Business As Usual”

This desperate and in the same time implying magic power gesture of not trying to connect only with the super-human and over-powerful but with what is stronger than the human life, is simultaneously passionately impulsive and ritualistic, spontaneous and rooted in tradition. This combination of inspiration and ritual, improvisation and theatricality tells us that we have a deal here with religious/political belief – in god(s) of the over-world, in flying saucers or in self-proclaimed gods of financial elite. This paradox of repeated impulsivity is, probably, a special mental condition when being over-agitated is combined with being absolutely exhausted – it is necessary to want so badly to be saved, to join saviors that it is impossible to keep this intensity burning all the time. But, as sentinels, these people combine maniacal appeal and a deadly apathy – static dynamism and too expressive (not-functional) eyes.

Bob Trotman, fragment from “Business as Usual”

This close-up concentrates our attention on despair as one of the ingredients of appeal to the supernatural power. It is the same despair we recognize behind the maniacal calculations of our profit-makers and neocon deciders. Like the protagonists of Bob Trotman’s works here appeal/signal to the super-human powers to save themselves from human life with its uncertainty, overpopulation, otherness and fragility, our corporate entrepreneurs and politicians today treat money as the very entelechy of super-human power. At this point we understand that this archetypal for the 21st century, gesture of the appeal to the super human powers is also the gesture of asking heavens for the magic manna-money-fall from above. They perceive this opportunity to amass a superhuman wealth – as a gift from the gods.

Bob Trotman, “Cake Lady” (2002)

The fear of mortality is another side of morbid fear of poverty. These two psychologically twin fears make for Trotman’s protagonists here life on earth as if without heavens or life under the sky without the sun or having nights without stars and moon. But this particular sculpture of the woman offering cake to the highest authorities seems representation of the feminine aspect of appeal of our religious and currency worshipers to super-human powers. This cake is a metaphor of… money which our immortality-currency fundamentalist worshipers stuck in save heavens accounts hidden beyond American borders as a proof (in front of super-human powers) of their worth in exchange for the ultimate appreciation of their efforts to reach super-earthly immortality amidst super-earthly prosperity.

Bob Trotman, “Cake Lady” 2

Kneeling in the last two sculptures is equivalent of being lower than the level of floor in “Business as Usual” – making ourselves smaller makes our masters, be it god(s) or technological powers (which can help wealth-accumulation and immortality pursuits) appear stronger than they are. Like our ancestors we like to believe in giants. In comparison with the preceding kneeling figure greeting the supernatural or pseudo-supernatural (technico-scientific) powers, this figure is kneeling inside a metaphysical space where greeting becomes absolutized – a grand metaphysical posture-gesture.

It’s so important that Bob Trotman is not just creating artistic associations which too many artists today limit themselves with, but expresses his concern about intellectual and mental condition of people in the beginning of 21st century.

Bob Trotman
Bob Trotman at the opening of his exhibition in 2014

You can read a previous essay about the work of Bob Trotman posted on May/1/2011–Bob Trotman’s “Vertigo” (2010, Wood, Tempera, Wax) – The Psychology of a Financial Globalist Warrior