Artists: Talia Chetrit, Shana Lutker, Virginia Overton, Marlo Pascual, Virginia Poundstone, RH Quaytman, Marina Rosenfeld, Blair Saxon-Hill
“The works in this show came together through a series of conversations around the word fugue. I was fascinated with the term’s promiscuousness. Most words, over time, gather shades of meaning, but fugue is conspicuously plural. There is Bachs interweaving musical motifs, the building of one melodic line or instrument upon another. The term also has psychiatry application, where the fugue state describes the return of memory after amnesia, and in German, fugue is a carpentry term for a joint that can never be flush. And the Latin etymology – “flight”. Fugue is a clearly overwrought little yarn.
This lead to further thinking about what is lost and gained in the process of translation, the slipperiness of words and how the lack of fixed meaning inherent to translation relates to other kinds of vagueness. Bertrand Russell, in an essay called On Vagueness claims that all language is vague and that accepting this fact and reading through it is key to understanding. His claim makes clearer the importance of looking hard and of a willingness to unlearn a few steps of the dance, or simply to accept that not all can be understood without nodding to your own subjectivity.
In the end this is a room of objects not meant to be propped up by a piece of paper. There are eleven works by seven artists, each of which is meant to play off another, in the interest of something like a “fugue.” Some of the works, such as Marina Rosenfelds album, Warrior Queen or Blair Saxon Hills Cane relate directly to thoughts inspired by a musical fugue. R.H. Quaytman on the other hand, seems to be inviting the viewer to look closer, counter-intuitively, by obfuscating her imagery with thinly veiled layers of medium that create optical illusions. Shana Lutkers long knotted cotton braid, Russes, makes literal the idea of twisting and turning, mentally as well as materially, and acts as a solid metaphor for the push-pull of the mind’s operations.”
– Summer Guthery