Them

 

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What circus is this?

What strange ghosts are they that loom out of the darkest black, the last place in our dreams?

They are us and they are Them.

 

They are the work of Danny Treacy.

They are figments of his imagination and desire.

They are made from recovered clothes.

They are from those lonely places – the woods, the wastelands, the car-parks.

They are re-stitched and re-fashioned: re-modelled into junk monsters.

They are nightmares of the catwalk, prowling around the outskirts of style’s dumb extravagance.

 

They belonged to the unknown and the anonymous.

They are the lost, the deranged, the sexually driven and – who knows – the dead.

They are the sinister carnival playing in the street. They are the music we dread to hear.

They confront us and they defy us.

They take a chance on our presence. They take a chance on existence.

They are Danny Treacy dressed-up.

 

They mask his identity.

They become the confined space of his transgression.

They are charged in this way.

They are the places where he is close to Them.

 

They are awkward. They are contorted.

They are the body harnessed, the body pinched, the body stitched-up.

They have those Frankenstein, stiff-legged poses. They are B-movie cut-outs.

They are Dada and they are Pop.

They are the friends of Surrealism: shouting anarchy, whispering perversion.

They are sampled pieces, cross-dressed collages, mix-gendered melodramas: part nasty, part nice.

 

They are the suits, the jeans, the rubber gloves.

They are the workers and they are the dancers.

They are the porno tea-break, the sexed-up secrets.

They are rough trade. They are the soldiers.

They have the armour and the equipment.

They are medieval, the spice of old England.

They are the danger-men, the shit-kickers.

They are ready. They are tooled-up.

They are tight and they are fit.

 

They are soiled and stained and perfectly formed.

They are the shapes around which menace lingers.

They are intimate and they are a violation.

They are the victors and the victims.

They are the kiss and the tell.

They are true and they are false.

 

– David Chandler, Professor of Photography, Plymouth University.