The Wall: Chris Succo

Televised Mind


If concerned with our boundaries of thinking, it may behoove you to start with letters. Marshall McLuhan postured that typography alters language from a means of perception and exploration to a portable commodity. In congruence, superpowers saw the economic value of the interchangeability of language with universal alphabets. Language evolved as linear and restrictive, creating a cage around creativity. Western humanity’s 26-29 letters attempt to portray the ineffeble—gesturing at ideas with fictitious sounds circumscribed by a misguided albeit imperative portability of Babylonian need. Despite good intentions and their necessity, the conceptual sound of thought has been bounded, tied, and gagged in a pornographic submission contrary to expanding consciousness. Being at a loss for words is not a personal experience but a species-bound issue of our own making.

It explains Chris Succo’s need to seek transcendence. He isn’t attempting to read between the lines but ascend to a plane where lines cease to exist. Like many musicians-artists, Succo seeks Hendrixian electronic church—actively contributing to the informal cooperative of musicians performing exploratory music in nontraditional settings. For Succo, his papacy is his guitar, paintbrush, silkscreen, and camera. In the traditional modes of dozen notes (C, D, E, F, G, A and B), we remain limited in the capacity to imagine. So, when creating new sheet music of abstracted oil or print, Succo Sounds are bound by neither lettersnor tones. Instead, the viewer gets to compose the music, free to deviate from the orchestra in Succo’s own cerebrum chorus.

Regarding the dichotomy of his practice, Succo attempts to reconcile the brain’s visual and vibrative wave states. Picture and sound, represented by figuration and abstraction respectively, bleed together as a thoughtful estuary. When speaking to the artist this conversion of lightness and darkness (innocence and malfeasance) is a religious practice. Light in its various modalities—clear, colored, radiant, glowing, shining, and even blinding—has played a central role in the histories of Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Manichaeism, and Neoplatonic mysticism, as well as in Buddhist and Hindu esoteric traditions, to name only the most well-studied. And to Succo, the paintings and prints act as reverential spots of contemplation, but, the religious experience of his work is the porous boundary between the contending visual vocabulary. Standing in the middle of his two practices is precisely the experience he aims to highlight. The viewer mustn’t pick a side, instead vacillating between the two as humans do through the chore of living.

Simply speaking, Chris Succo wants you to melt away without judgment through his work.

Leave this world.

And allow yourself to find one that sounds, for the first time, truly real without the boundaries our forefathers created.

- Alexis Schwartz, writer and critic