Text by Amy Marjoram
I know I am not the only Australian to say when it rains heavily that it’s “pissing down rain” as if the universe is taking a leak. Mounds of snow with their rudimentary formations, also have that thoughtless urgency of creation that mirrors urination.
Snow is often so devestatingly, stupidly photogenic that a tiny pile of it can look like an Antarctic iceberg. Pristine snow. In Peter Nitsch’s Function Follows Form snow is sprayed in bright yellow by dogs, yet it remains frigidly beautiful even in the face of this marking. Rather than an attack on the picturesque, these canines are paying homage to the skies, replicating the gorgeous abstraction of expulsion.
The design principal that Form Follows Function, here gets a reversal. Function does follow form and very rarely goes against our expectations of it; the functions of snowing, the functions of peeing, they’ve been worked out some time before us. Might as well go with it; Nitsch ramps up the colour of the warm frothy landmarks till they almost fluoresce. The frivolous photos become the colour of smashed eggs, a crystallised map of urgency, a rendering of techniques of urination as cold paws make haste, an expansion of the photographic documentation of the unmonumental in the tradition of Brassai’s Sculptures Involontaires, 1933. Lastly they are simply piss on snow.