Book Review: Hit or Miss by Timotheus Tomicek
Image Above:©Timotheus Tomicek, Book Cover / Courtesy of Kehrer
Image Above: ©Timotheus Tomicek, '09_UNTITLED' / Courtesy of Kehrer
Synchronicity is described by Carl Jung as “meaningful coincidence.” Austrian artist, film-maker, and photographer Timotheus Tomicek’s navigates this idea in his book Hit or Miss published with Kehrer in 2015.
The book is an experience in itself; like a catalog, a panoply, of random oddities. The reader feels themselves entering a detective’s game, where one must interact with what’s provided on the page: clues are deciphered, and connected to bigger themes. The book’s purpose is not to showcase images, but to inspire conversations that unrelated imagery can inspire.
In Hit or Miss, Tomicek blends multiple mediums and textures. Matte paper is mixed with glossy, text is mixed with imagery. Within the visuals themselves, Tomicek employs photography and graphics, exploring the limits to which imaging can be used in a book: full bleeds and small crops; duplications and mirroring; an object without its background floating in white space; an image obstructed by the books middle crease.
Image Above: ©Timotheus Tomicek, '04_UNTITLED' / Courtesy of Kehrer
It begins with a single red thread isolated on the white page. The next spread is a full bleed close-up of a red woven rug. A pretzel mirrors an image of space with a small, twisting galaxy at its center. A delicate infinity symbol on white matte paper mirrors a blurred image of the Mona Lisa on glossy paper. An image of the Eiffel tower stands alone in full bleed, obstructed by a mischievous, far-reaching pine tree.
Image Above: ©Timotheus Tomicek, '07_UNTITLED' / Courtesy of Kehrer
Hit or Miss comments on the visual codes we intuitively know in our world. This collective consciousness that allows us to make parallels between these seemingly unrelated symbols. Sometimes our connections are successful, sometimes we fail – as in the small, rectangular crop of a pear halved and covered in black gnats. It faces a small ampersand on the preceding page. What is the conversation here? The curve of the 'g' in gnats vs. the curve of the &? Perhaps it is the plurality that these visuals infer: an infinity of gnats, and an infinite chain of clauses that one could create with an infinite number of ampersands. One finds themselves testing their ability to form relationships between ambiguous pieces of evidence.
One should embrace any initial feelings of confusion when experiencing Hit or Miss; this may be what Tomicek is in fact commenting on. The book, its images and its visuals, unlocks itself as you progress through each page, and further more when you return to it a second or third time. Hit or Miss reflects the playful chaos of the visual universe as well as the symbiosis existing between seemingly unrelated entities.