NEW YORK, NY.- This exhibition takes its title from a refrain in T.S. Eliots Burnt Norton, the first quartet of a poem ostensibly concerned with a ruined country house in Gloucestershire. In this poem, the poet intimates the fall from an Eden to ruins, the circuitous and entrapping qualities of time, and the strange relationship of individual mortality within the vast span of history and nature. While the poet observes the ways that the past and the future are folded into an imprecise present, compellingly, Eliot also suggests a schism between consciousness and fixity. He writes, To be conscious is not to be in time.
The works in this exhibition similarly resist specific locations and determinations, whether temporal, geographic or psychological. Perspectives are tweaked or obliterated both formally and metaphorically, and associations and meanings are often doubled or duplicitous (potentially serious, sentimental, critical and/or comical).
Some works in the exhibition confuse the notion of an original. Allyson Vieira makes gestural mono-casts based on the Parthenons metopes bas-reliefs that have been physically relocated, copied and re-presented numerous times. Similarly, Shana Lutkers photographs of drawings and models in the studio are experiments in perspective, expectation and perception, formally and conceptually. They appear to lead somewhere while simultaneously acknowledging their failure to do so. In contrast, a series of collaborative cyanotypes by Will Rogan & Lauren McKeon underscores the immediacy of process. Starting with a collection of found photographs of clocks, their work is centered around intimate domestic spaces (the paper is coated in a darkened bedroom, and later rinsed in a bathtub) and the prints are made by the light from the setting sun. Overtly sentimental, the prints are a poignant index of human transience.
T. S. Eliot posited the present as a moment of fuzzy, distracted beauty where memories are not devalued, nor are they fully understood, and the future as a state of quivering anticipation. It is a present that is vertiginous and ecstatic, but also the still point of the turning world. Bob Linders Cane (Metal Object with Reverse Threads), a steel cane that screws counter-clockwise into the gallery floor, and Dan Attoes rendering of Old Faithful identify two such strange points, of which one assumes there must be an infinite number.
What might have been and what has been
Point to one end, which is always present.
-TS Eliot, Burnt Norton, published 1943
Artists included in the exhibition:
Will Rogan & Lauren McKeon
January 8 February 14, 2010
Opening reception January 8, 6-8 pm