views of Untitled, 2022;
Mid Residency installation at California Institute of the Arts, CA, January 2022;
Multimedia, text on soft-fiber cellulose, polymer drop cloth, polymer glass, polymer paint, galvanized steel, 4h2m sound cycle;
Text sources include vito acconci, hanne darboven, ezra pound, julia kristeva, edouard glissant, gilles deleuze;
Sound sources include gioacchino rossini, lykke li, morphine, underground resistance, ludwig van beethoven, gerald donald, viola valentino, tim maia
Thank you ashraay, julian, sophia, yasaman
photos by yasaman alipour
Words/a life made of Excess, Control, Excess, Poiesis, Brainfeeding, Ending, the Kiss, the trouble with description and describing, Configuration, Pain, the Animal, Critique, Juices, Malady, taming, Zones, policing, Masks, Brighid, navigating and Navigation, loving, Artemis, Water, more Kuss, self-mining, Islands, Retaliation.
Spread across the four walls of the gallery, the poem’s pages are nailed to the wall with thick long nails, covered in a pearl-blue polymer glaze. A shattered sheet of polymer glass lays decentered on the floor. Markings of two hammer blows suggest the cause of the shattering, tracing a space of witness(ing), of aftermath. Is the visitor being a sort of Minerva’s owl?
Three lights are positioned by the edges of the space, drawing an upside-down triangle as seen from the entrance. Each light lights up the wall it is furthest away from. A sensation of ‘empty center’.
To read the poem visitors have to be ‘in motion’, move through the room. As they initially step into the space, they are drawn to a place equidistant from the edges of the space, and they might be performing the action of ‘filling’ the center.
Between the ‘visitor’ and the poem: flesh, a film, a membrane of polymer sheeting. Twenty-three 25x10ft 4ml-thick sheets of ‘clear’ polymer ‘wrap’ the walls and floor of the space almost entirely. Glaring, shiny. Some people thought the space was wet. The majority of the visitors experienced a moment ‘before time’ when they did not realize there was ‘stuff’ (text) on the walls.
The work is really not about plastic. To quote artist Charles Gaines, the polymer is just another very useful tool for me to create a system.
Plastic offers a variable degree of transparency-opacity depending on its spatial configuration with respect to: what lies in its proximity, lighting intensity, and gazing angle. But it also transforms, ‘sublimates’ into a sculptural, landscape tool, once a certain degree of opacity is reached. Think of it as a sort of threshold, beyond which the ‘factual’ substance of this material shifts: similarly to what happens with a gaseous > liquid > solid circuit, a point is given at which this plastic acquires different properties altogether. This point, while remaining unidentifiable, was represented in the space.
Plastic present in the space both as a landscape (a thing?) and as a measure of transparency/opacity (a relation?) - and not ‘knowing’ where the line really was.
The visitor is implicitly invited to alter both dimensions: by entering the space, stepping and altering the morphology, crashing and creating little plastic hills and valley; and to increase the transparency of the plastic covering the text by pressing it with their fingers against the wall: in most cases, taking such ‘liberty’ amounted to being able to read the poem or not.
The material engaged by the work is time. The poem amounts to a life. The sound amounts to the world. As this unfolds sequentially, the amount of time spent in the space determines the visitor's experience. The material engaged by the work is time.
Your action, as you walk into this t/womb, could be the action of resurrection, of living again, in a tactile manner, and visually, and linguistically, of resurrecting this world where a thick materiality remains.
Hostility as death
Real pleasure as birth