Light Over Plaster Clouds | Reception (by appointment)
Saturday, March 20 • 2-6pm
@ Critical Path Method
A three woman show featuring Fabienne Lasserre, Yamini Nayar, and Rosemary Mayer, curated by Max Warsh.
Over the course of the past year, the expansion and contraction of time has become routine. The ubiquitous questions of “what day is it?” or “I can’t believe it’s already Friday!” arise from the slow, monotonous drone of the day-to-day, blanketing our lives with a sense of dislocation I can only compare to the experience of living in Los Angeles where the sun always shines and memories morph into atmospheric conditions. At the same time society has regressed and accelerated at an exponential pace causing a numbing effect—we know we are living through a historic moment, yet each day is perhaps more historic than the previous one, leaving past days in the dust.
What if time travel is not the ability to move through time, rather just a repositioning of the perception of time so that notions of linear time collapse into a cacophonous field of collected moments that can be accessed at any time? What if any moment can be accessed through a material object, whether a book, drawing, or sculpture akin to a token that many time-travel scenarios provide for the traveller to locate themselves across the continuum? It is in response to these questions and states of being where the artists and artworks in this exhibition come together at this moment, as they look at the material world through its perceptual and temporal potential; and it is through the lens of this past year that we can view these artworks as openings to new pathways for comprehending time.
As the newspaper, “The Bellona Times,” in Samuel R. Delany’s epic science fiction novel Dhalgren, prints erratic dates jumping from April 1, 1979 to July 17, 1969 to October 24, 1985, the reader must ask if this is in fact a leap in time within the arc of the story, or do these dates mark the irrelevance of linear time within the hallucinatory post-apocalypse narrative. In this latter reading, Delany positions time as a mood in a way that also mirrors the current moment, and further sets the framework for considering the works in this exhibition.
Fabienne Lasserre’s hanging/standing orbs, discs, ovals, and shards glide along gradients of opacity/transparency, visibility/invisibility and dimensionality. They invite, absorb and reflect both light and vision as they and we are in perpetual motion together. They are bodies standing in for doorways and windows, slivers of hand-made architecture for a compounding present and speculative future. Lasserre’s sculptures are access points demarcating momentary shifts in perception while also carving out space for new ways of seeing.
The aggregation of material and time find a home in Yamini Nayar’s photographs. Each image contains a site constructed through building forms of plaster, paper wood, paint and/or other materials. Allowing the accumulation of material to metamorphose into elegantly precarious structures, Nayar decides when to flatten and capture the image into the paper of the photograph. Each photograph holds multitudes of moments and actions, in some cases multiple exposures, they contain and unravel time; they are composite storyboards, monuments to the unconscious impulse to build and shelter.
Flowers become fabric, words become flowers, words become vessels, flowers become architecture. Rosemary Mayer’s drawings of flower forms, tulip petals, carnivorous plants and still lifes embody the duality contained in her acute observation over days in the studio coupled with the magnitude of a classical history that has studied such forms for hundreds of years. Forever committed as a diarist and journaler of the day-to-day, Mayer’s attention to the moment-to-moment shifts in light, vibrancy and decay in her subjects reflect broader tendencies in Mayer’s work to look at the arch of history in relation to her personal lived experience as an artist in her time.
“Exuberance of gilded stucco, ingenious, intricate, vaulting altars bursting with angels and light over plaster clouds spilling out like the branding curving stucco racing in countless gilded trails, coursing near the ceiling, unfolding in limitless variety”
-excerpt from text in Rosemary Mayer’s drawing Untitled, (part of the pinning down of flowers), 1975