Catch 22

In Catch 22, two figures appear side-by-side on top of a flat yellow shape that poses as a sofa. They appear to be in a room, there is a small green rug below their feet and what could be a window looking out onto a cityscape or aircraft hanger.

Laura Hudson  Catch 22  oil on canvas [90x62cm] 2018

Laura Hudson Catch 22 oil on canvas [90x62cm] 2018

Laura Hudson,  Catch 22 Drawing

Laura Hudson, Catch 22 Drawing

The two figures came directly from a drawing that suggested to me the character of Kenny in the cartoon series South Park, and Snowdon from Joseph Heller’s treatise on capitalism and the lunacy of war Catch 22 (1961). In the film of the book (1970), the character Yossarian returns, again and again, to the moment of discovery that Snowdon’s innards are contained only by his army jacket. Yossarian goes through the expected motions but the sequences are narrated by his thoughts of self-interest and necessary disassociation. The phrase “catch 22”refers to the catch that is pivotal to the film; anyone who is crazy has to be grounded, but anyone who wants to get grounded, to avoid mortal combat, cannot be crazy, therefore cannot be grounded, that’s the catch. “Catch 22” has since migrated to common usage and refers to a sticking point beyond which no rational solution can be made. The cartoon Kenny is destined to be re-incarnated despite his pointless suicides. Recurrence is implicit in both sources and reflects on attempts to find answers to impossible questions. Neither of these two characters can make sense of their own predicament, both characters have distanced vocal narratives that tell us more or less about their realities.