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Discursive Arrangements, or Stubbornly Persistent Illusions

July 14 - August 13, 2011

Opening Reception : July 14, 2011 6-8 pm

Curated by Timothy Hull and Lumi Tan


Mathew Cerletty, Devon Costello, Timothy Hull, Ryan Mrozowski, Thomas and Renée Rapedius, Sean Raspet, Ruby Sky Stiler, Sophie-Therese Trenka-Dalton, Allyson Vieira

Einstein claimed that “the distinction between past, present and the future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion.” The works in this exhibition exist between this idea of illusion and that of the “discursive arrangement,” which is formed from associations and references drawn from strands of disparate elements, creating a web of ideas, images, and objects to appear simultaneously authentic and inconsistent.

Using the prism of the symbolic, real, and imaginary realms, the material from which the work is drawn exists amongst the detritus of collected cultural images, thoughts and memories. This trinity is a stage for reflection and association, as we understand that art is not created in a vacuum but operates in a collective cultural subconscious.

The use of this psychoanalytic reference is not merely a clever trope, but usefully serves as a framework for understanding the way in which the artist subjectively processes image and object as a reflective medium, much in the way the early Catholic mystic St. Catherine of Siena believed the Trinity to be a mirror that reflected itself infinitely while also reflecting the subject, a philosophical metaphor that has also found its use in psychoanalytic discourse. The experience of arranging these subjectively recognized images, thoughts, objects, and signifiers into an artwork offers both the artist and audience a new way of looking at a historical moment or a present situation. Gertrude Stein believed that “everything is contemporary” and why should we not think so?