These are strangely intimate glimpses into unholy personal and private events. Child-birthing comes to mind. Vomiting. Horrific bowel movements. The fleshy forms appear to quiver with effort. And watching is stressful with suspense.
Witness life at its most primitive, laboring to hemorrhage its indigestibles. It’s horror at its B-film horror movie best, in the lineage of Eraserhead
-remember the fetus?- The Blob and Little Shop of Horrors. But after a few nervous chuckles, it turns sublime. Nudd’s initial inspiration was Stan Brakhage’s taboo-breaking 1959 film Window Water Baby Moving, which records the birth of his first child. Those who do not immediately turn away in revulsion, will stand mesmerized.
But we might just as easily be looking at the sulphurous origins of some kind of life form in the primordial swamps of an alien world. Or alternately, some terribly sick bit of our planet earth, so jellied by toxic industrial miasma that it is becoming something frightfully new. For Nudd none of it’s not literal. The forms are in essence purely abstract.
The videos allude to the elevated ‘creationism’ of sploogey-paint. But they more pointedly connect to Nudd’s own drawings, which have appeared for years in the pages of his zines. (He publishes under the lables Pig Wind Press and Soggy Donkey Publishing.) They are seedily ectoplasmic and amoeba-like, and whiskered with a grouchy underground affinity to R. Crumb.
In Salmonella in September; Perfumes of the Doomed, which Nudd exhibited in Chicago’s Mess Hall in 2004, he took on the mission of concocting from ten simple ingredients the world’s most foul imaginable smell. His sensibility resonates.