Jack Chambers' Red and Green: An Artist's Inquiry Into the Nature of Meaning
In 1968, Canadian artist and filmmaker Jack Chambers was diagnosed with leukemia. Faced with his own mortality, Chambers began a programme of research into the nature of his own immortality. From that starting point the artist embarked on a nine-year journey that would ultimately take him to the end of his days. In his search, Chambers consulted many sources: philosophers, scientists, poets, priests, mystics and clairvoyants. Using the metaphor of the complementary-colour contrast of red and green, Chambers examined life’s inherent paradoxes, resolutely searching for synthesis. What resulted was ‘Red and Green’, a collage of quotations and ideas – a visual and literary mosaic – photocopied and diligently pasted into ring binders.
The manuscript called ‘Red and Green’ has spent the greater part of its existence closeted in a studio, a basement and an archive. Today, Tom Smart, with remarkable care and persistence, presents Jack Chambers’ Red and Green, Chambers’ final thoughts on the purpose of the artist in society.