Once, naked on gray-skinned boulders in an Indian fishing
village, dried scales sequin every curve of our bodies
sealing all that we carry within. When I play the saxophone
I try to make myself something boneless blown through the
horn leaving the inside incandescent.
I am the middle
of the day, in the middle of the story, in the middle.
For years every week every time outside the hospital a
half-dressed man sings. Like a lyric poem, between music
and speech, ecstasy and mourning, he whispers, "This is
a lucky day. I'm a lizard who blends into the grass." He
is the color that never disappears. The absence leaves
space for him to bend out across the street.
There is only
the edge and everything on the verge of night, the dusk
light crosses his legs, splits the sky like a sigh of relief.
Whose identity couldn't be altered by the accelerated rate
of invisibility, like dusk.
I leave sparklers,
money, magazines under his tail each time. I think he is
the one who tucks cut paper and wire balls between my car
This seems like
an unplanned conversation or a metaphor that has the most
to do with proximity affirming relationships and discrepancies,
the necessity to participate. This is not a completed experiment.
Neither perishable nor yielding shadows of consensus.
A long illness
starts to dry up all talk of itself, like a long sentence,
a long weather front. It grows past all imagination as
a low voice disappears from sight, still holds everything,
silent like a horizon, the sky still distant. I came with
only what I knew to the treatments, a series of measured
accidents. I penned poems across my stomach each time,
words on the verge of silence - the brighter the source,
the darker the darkness. After some time, sure I must glow
from the inside - the poems back-lit projections marking
Each poem from
the time before is memory, unfolded paper still tending
toward the crease giving direction to the next words to
migrate across my skin. On the other side, in the fresh
morning, the ink washes through the shower drain, the color,
which never quite disappears.
Perhaps as a
child I would have written poems across the elm trunks
before I was distracted by their disappearance and something
Each of us know
of random moments when our life is held - two blocks from
the destruction, the car swerves, the illness retreats,
the war subsides outside the door.
I call my parents
to say the body they made still breathes. Reaching home,
the smell of rotting fruit is like the tentative light
of summer being pulled into autumn. On my bed, I line them
all up, like algebra: apple (lizard man), banana (saxophone),
pomegranate (outrageous acts), pear (elm tree), fig (essential
Jane M. Saks
"I tell you, there is no reason
for it! It's good stuff! Grant it, the struggle to capture
and hold an audience's attention is difficult enough,
going about it this way seems, well, I don't know....Maybe
it is its own excuse. Everything in it was thoughtfully
constructed. None of this work is hermetic though. Perhaps
it will have broad appeal."
really! It's not a question of what I have to say about
it. What does it have to say for itself?
Give me two good reasons why...maybe one. OK, well, I'll give you that... Yeah,
I think it holds together."
The artworks we
encounter are intelligible to us because their existence
and function are filtered through the globalized aesthetic
ideology of the west, and the formal matrix of the academy.
The artists in this exhibition, though culturally diverse,
are products of this system. A certain homogeneity results
from this, which the topical theme reinforces by focusing
inquiry around an over-arching subjectivity. This is the
standard academic model. I want to set that aside for a
moment. My curatorial strategy was to resist the implied
justification for the array of works by not building the
curatorial frame as a pre-interpretive device. Free radicals.
The possibility of delivering a fascinating experience
through the works these artists make, and affecting some
surprising juxtapositions, is my aim.
With work by:
Edgar Arceneaux, Lynne Brown, Tim Fielder, Emily Jacir,
Saeri Kiritani, Raj Kahlon, Carrie Moyer, Jane Saks, Kwabena
Prentiss Slaughter, and May Sun