Without Which Nothing
Do you consider many bags of potato chips before you make your choice? After deciding among tortilla chips, cheese puffs and pretzels, do you still rifle through bag upon bag hoping to intuit the proper one? How come? Each bag in the Andy Warholian display of thickly cut, salt and vinegar spuds is the same, yet we still do all that looking. We shake and squeeze. We hold and ponder. It is as if we were waiting for the bag to speak to us, to call out to us. We are looking for some intimate connection with the object.
Without Which Nothing celebrates the essence, personality and capacity for the intimacy of an object. Each object in the exhibition has been selected and arranged to highlight their eachness. The objects in this show, made from repetitive processes and found objects, do not gain power from their novelty but rather their individual energies. These objects posses a will. They are wily and self-conscience. Barnacles and birthmarks highlight the individuated personality of each vessel in David Banga ceramics. The sun-bleached ground of William Gerhard works on paper assert their inherent nature in their faded blackness. Playful and zany, the surreal synergies of Linda Molenaar’s day-to-day artmaking justify themselves by believably appearing as singular objects. While each of these works posses a content derived from their characteristic natures and world of people, places and things they populate, Without Which Nothing seeks to honor each object’s own being. Judiciously curated to provide the room to get to know an object, the exhibition hails you to strike up a humane intimacy with art.
Try to allow, just for a moment, each object to be. Just be with an object. Perhaps the little blue pot, one of the guys without the spout, has a aloofness you find distasteful. You might prefer the sexy, shoe-horned object, but maybe she doesn’t care much for you. Focusing on the fugitive nature of a sheet of black paper is not to suggest that such an object cannot be about early photography or the poetics of aging but acknowledges that it has a complex yet objective being and a complementary right to be. Objects, like people, are not reducible to one Grand Master narrative or a plurality of Other ones. We are not good or bad. Each human and object has a philosophical responsibility to be: be that mortal or timeless; flesh or metal; sour cream or nacho cheese.
- Shannon Stratton & Jeff M. Ward.