Invited by Clare Sheppeard curator of Space Interrupted to act as interlocutor between the artists and artworks assembled at Limbo this text is supplement to the interviews that followed. I have prepared a formal framing device or structure which will transpire in three parts: a short preface and introduction in which we shall perambulate around the space and finally the body or content of the event which will be a series of questions prepared for the artists in advance.
To cross a threshold into a gallery we observe all the existential rules of perception as explored by the French Philosopher Mauruce Merleu Ponty in; The Visible and the Invisible, and earlier writings. In deference to the spirit of brevity we might note here that he suggested : Space is existential. That existence is spatial- that humans are fundamentality related to space – inhabit space – are not merely in space. Like Gaston Bachelard for whom we pass over in order to wrap ourselves momentarily in his absence, this late twentieth century, pre digital space, already imagines space as an architecture of extension, of subjectivity projected in texts which simmer and mutate like the performative graffiti of late Ramazilazee, the philosopher artist of ‘Ikonoklast Panzerism’, and allow us to follow traces of aesthetics and history through the sensual array of letters which form our speech. Today our ideas will hopefully share an exploration of the theorisation of space as ethical, technical and teleological as described by Avital Ronell who infamously according to the Amazon preview of the Telephone Book, (which should not be confused with a preface) “installs the telephone in the space of thinking Heidegger reserves for poetry and art, producing a series of reflections on philosophy, Ronell calls us from afar. She does not think the question concerning technology by submitting it merely to evaluation, as has been done so often and so poorly. Rather, she seeks out what ‘thinks’ in technology and what is ‘technological’ in thinking. Her concern is located not in the instrumentality of technology with its good and bad points, but in unfolding the presence of technology in discourse, as discourse, or as the silence hidden within discourse.” Perhaps such interludes are not heard on the recording of the preface but surface here like Electronic Voice Phenomena, whispering of a detailing of space that precedes and eludes us. Or to pursue this distraction we must recognise that we find it hard to focus on the written word as it is texted across an infinity of screens, another voice enters her and says,” In the preface to Finitude’s Score, you suggest that “electronic culture” signals for you a kind of “prosthetic écriture” that puts “writing under erasure”; and a few lines later, you make the rather startling statement that you’re “writing for writing because it died.” Would you elaborate on that a bit? Are you suggesting two different senses of “writing”?
The phone goes dead and we arrive with the question of how we orientate our bodies and behave as political bodies, social bodies. This rapid acceleration of the digital impacts on our experience ofsubjectivity, we find [ Space ] simultaneously sampled and original, real and imaginary, symbolic and gendered. Our Space is interrupted by a multiplicity and never a singularity – an aporia beyond ourselves – towards an infinity.
Back in the 1960s when beatnicks and hipsters read philosophy they would have found solace in the idea that the world is not simply an object… and that as Maurice Merleau-Ponty said, ” Things pass into us as well as we pass into things.”
In Space Interrupted there are three sculptural forms created by three artists that engage directly and indirectly with the spectres & ghosts of other spaces. These works exhibited collectively offer a colliding and montaging of geometries that resolve themselves into a theme park of perspectives. We must assume that behind closed gallery doors intense arrangement and alignments have been agreed. When we open the doors of the gallery- wow there is stuff in this space. Our vision shifts between apertures and focuses simultaneously and then specifically on each work whilst holding the others in our peripheral vision.
Foreground. Zoe Fudge : Construction three ( wood, paint, metal ) 2015
Keywords or tags might include: projection, shadow play, architecture, scaffolds, elegance and the precarious. Three small works in finely cut pine arranged as if a shrine to modernism and the geometry of, Falling Water by FL Wright.
Middle distance. Rachel Wilberforce : Perceptual ( Apparatus) Installation 11 [ Perspex sculpture, coloured Perspex segments, transformer, pigment, transparency print, ] 2015
Keywords or tags, neon, pleasure, illuminated, shards of words, broken, recycled. This work gestures towards the resurrection of Dreamland and the illumination of an historic architecture which is erased by the dominance of the SiGN.
Horizon. Sharon Haward: Substationdislocation ( wood, mirror, projection, light, sound) 2015.
Keywords and tags, power, electricity, cinematic, totem, decoys, surveillance, mirrors. A large pylon draws our vision toward a vanishing point beyond the gallery signifying a fragmentation of perspective and the substitution of the heliotropic religions for the cults of energy.
Following this introduction and before we proceed to hear from the artists I would like us all to play a game in which where and who we are are lost in the abyss of subjective space. Please close your eyes.