Unreal Nature

December 9, 2019

Make Room

Filed under: Uncategorized — unrealnature @ 5:53 am

“… a possibility for expansion lurking in the background of everything we make.”

This is from Miwon Kwon’s essay in Jessica Stockholder: Kissing the Wall: Works, 1988-2003 by Nancy Doll and Terrie Sultan (2004):

… The ongoing realization of the consistency and discrepancy that coexist in the exchange between visual recognition and bodily encounter — of colors, objects, structures, and spatial modalities — is the dramatic reward for viewers of Stockholder’s stagings (who inevitably become the works’ “actors”). Her installations are simultaneously abstract and literal, pictorial and material, representational and real, decorative and structural, and available for haptic and*** optic apperception.

[line break added] And these oppositions flip-flop throughout a viewer’s experience of any one installation. What produces these unstable doublings, engendering what the artist describes as “a struggle between different ways of viewing contribut[ing] to the rise of a kind of blur, a confusion of boundary,” is that no one element , be it an object, a color, or an architectural structure (thus, by extension, spatial modality), is allowed to maintain its integrity or to fully accommodate another element.

Stockholder’s use of color is particularly exemplary in this regard. Just as it is impossible to find a stable objective sense of spatial orientation to inside/outside or front/back in her work (these relations continuously alter depending on the movement of the viewer), the presence of color as a surface condition is often undercut by color as volume and vice versa.

… This interest in the play between the materiality of color ant the color of materials is central to Stockholder’s artistic effort. As she admits in a 1995 statement: “Color drives me. I make art to play with color, to see it work … [But] I experience color as sculptural, as something that collects onto things and takes up space, a physical event existing next to physical objects.”

… Positioned somewhere between painting and architecture, or compositing the terms of each, Stockholder’s work produces an “experience having to do with the difficulty of having things cohere, a lack of definition, or a possibility for expansion lurking in the background of everything we make.” Just as the artist seeks to upset her own clarity of vision to “make room for new thoughts,” she offers the same to her audience.

My previous post from this book is here.

-Julie

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