Photos by Sandra Larochelle
Photos courtesy of the artists and L’Inconnue
Text by Olivia Whittick
“Never does one open the discussion by coming right to the heart of the matter. For the heart of the matter is always somewhere else than where it is supposed to be. To allow it to emerge, people approach it indirectly by postponing until it matures, by letting it come when it is ready to come. There is no catching, no pushing, no directing, no breaking through, no need for a linear progression which gives the comforting illusion that one knows where one goes.”
– Trinh T. Minh-ha
In good art, a point is made not by communicating it directly, but by finding an expressive, abstract, emotional or unexpected way of getting to it. Often a point is never made at all, but only suggested, considered, proposed and suspended in a here-nor-there space without any urgency towards conclusion. All of the works in Four Pillars are suggestions, they are works in process, finding the heart of the matter by looking elsewhere.
Maia Ruth Lee
Maia Ruth Lee
Certainties are cages. Arrivals are where movement stops. To be sure is to oppress thought. Four Pillars demonstrates an awareness that binaries create difference, one or the other. And distinctions require a language of difference that is reductive, a formal entrapment. In response, to be always in a state of change, of in-between, is to challenge the solidity of states. In Four Pillars, four artists come together to erect a thematic structure around between-ness.
Hanna Hur’s stretched silk and linen coloured pencil works are apparitions, slowly disappearing, like the soft spirits of former paintings. Laurie Kang’s Soup and Roots show lotus roots in various states of apparition, asking the viewer to consider differently opaque ontologies, and the act of impression, of cultural catalysis and residue.
Laurie Kang & Hanna Hur
Maia Ruth Lee arranges scrap iron sculptures, altars holding ceremonial rice which absorb and transform the energy of the space. Zadie Xa creates attire for an imagined shamanistic avatar. Collected symbols from personal and collective histories are sewn into a garment that can be worn to transform into an entity beyond socio-political boundaries, beyond material understanding.
Formally atypical, indistinguishable, ephemeral. A single object encompassing opposites, the works in Four Pillars exist between mediums, between definitions, offering an escape from rigid modes of being and understanding. To re-invoke Ursula K. Le Guin, cited by Sarah Chow in the show’s exhibition text, as it is an all-time favourite: “The direction of escape is toward freedom, so what is ‘escapism’ an accusation of?”
Four Pillars is on view at L’INCONNUE until Apr 30, 2018.
© 2019 The Editorial Magazine