The objects in the vials, the assemblages (french term; “ahsem/blahj”), are usually self explanatory; a leaf, a twig, some lake water, sandpaper, food, cotton, building materials … representing everyday objects we use and find, the minutiae of our daily lives. I place them in glass and sometimes in saline, as a framing device so we can appreciate them, however humble, for their formal & conceptual beauties.
The contents of the vial below are tissue paper that was wrapped around some throat lozenges, and saline solution. I peeled the liner paper away, placed it in a vial and when it seemed a little too inert, i added the saline. Especially with the little air bubbles, it became other-worldly beautiful … to me at least.
Liner Tissue In Saline, Winter 2019
Names for vials that appear empty (below), containing only the air and molecular residue from a particular moment in time, refer to ideas and events that occur mainly, though not always, during the date or days the vials are open. These vials, sealed with microscopic remnants inside them, are titled conceptually the way any painting, sculpture, song or story would be. I then tag them with the season and year for context.
“Find The Policy You’re Willing To Lose Your Seat
Behind and beyond these titles there is also the movement of time; how it ripples, echoes, changes, freezes and reflects aspects of our shared & fleeting temporal existence. Like any abstraction, the objects in and titles of these vials can literally and sometimes dramatically shift with the passing of days, months and years. We assume the past is “dead” but it’s interesting to see how our perception of it changes through the futures.
We’re living in our younger selves’ futures
our older selves’ pasts
and our private present moments
So one place we can change
our futures and our pasts
is every present moment
Without the few to have called them gifted
so many of my artistic heroes
some of whom have changed the world
Might have been scrawling & writing & drawing
assembling & painting in basements
performing & singing in showers forever unnoticed
While frustrated spouses & children
cousins & friends begged them to wake the fuck up
and find something useful to do with their lives
Adults so often marvel
at the bright & boundless energy of toddlers
but just lock them in a cubicle for a year & a half
dodging a petty officious superior
Raise their insurance premiums a couple of times
and tell them their sweetheart
loves a more attractive 6-year old
They’ll be as anxious & exhausted
by 430 in the afternoons
as the rest of us