In an essay written for the book “Collage: assembling contemporary art”, artist Ian Monroe explains how the uniqueness of collaged works rests in the differences that occur at its “edges”. The edges in a collaged work are the points “at which two or more previously distinct bodies collide”. It is these points or edges that produce within collage its power and frisson. It is here in the work we witness a break in our normality and are required to reassess – a process that can be disturbing an disorientating.
As an illustration, Monroe uses the Greek myth of the Chimera. It is not the individual components of this mythical beast that provoked wonder and fear, rather it was the mixed identity – the unnatural merging of boundaries or edges. In this way collaged works and amalgamated images press us to question the nature of difference and the relationships between our existing categorisations and perceived sense of order.