Monthly Archives: June 2019

Tournesol

The traveller who crossed the Halles at the end of summer
Was walking on her tiptoes
And across the sky despair furled its big calla lilies such beauties
And in the handbag was my dream that bottle of salt
Solely breathed by God’s godmother
Torpors spread out like steam
At Chien qui Fume
Where pro and con had just entered
The young woman could be seen only poorly and in profile
Was I dealing with the ambassadress of saltpeter
Or the white curve against the black background which we call thought
The ball of the innocents was in full swing
The lanterns caught fire slowly in the chestnut trees
The lady who cast no shadow knelt down on the Pont au Change
In Rue Gît-le-Cœur the pealing was no longer the same
Night’s promises were kept at last
The carrier pigeons the emergency kisses
Joined with the beautiful unknown one’s breast
Thrusting under the crepe of perfect meanings
A farm prospered in the midst of Paris
And its windows looked out on the Milky Way
But no one was living in it on account of the guests
The guests that one knows are more devoted than ghosts
The ones like that woman seemed to be swimming
And into love there enters a little of their substance
She takes them in
I am not the plaything of any sensory power
And yet the cricket that sang in the ashen hair
One evening near the statue of Etienne Marcel
Shot me a knowing glance
André Breton it said may pass through

André Breton, 1923
translation by John Hayes

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Ficus Interfaith

 

 

 

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Ficus Interfaith is a collaboration between Ryan Bush (b. 1990, Denver, CO) and Raphael Martinez Cohen (b. 1989, New York, NY). The artists, who live in New York City, met at the Rhode Island School of Design and have been working together since 2013. Ficus Interfaith were recent artists in residence at 2727 California Street (Berkeley, CA) and Shandaken: Storm King (New Windsor, NY). Their work has been exhibited at Kai Matsumiya (New York, NY), From the Desk of Lucy Bull, (Los Angeles, CA), Interstate Projects (Brooklyn, NY), Prairie (Chicago, IL) and they were participating artists for Clay Club 2018 at SculptureCenter (Queens, New York) and NOSCHOOL in Far Rockaway, NY and Berkeley, CA.

 

Rubus Armeniacus (Himalayan blackberry)

“Rubus Armeniacus is an exemplary political decoration, a nutritious ornament that clandestinely modifies infrastructural morphology. Here, affect invades the center. Rubus inverts and puns upon the proprietous subordination of affective expenditure to intelligence. Tracing a mortal palimpsest of potential surfaces in acutely compromised situations, Rubus shows us how to invent. This is the serious calling of style.”

– Office for Soft Architecture, Rubus Armeniacus: A Common Architectural Motif in the Temperate Mesophytic Region (Cabinet Magazine, Issue 6 Horticulture, Spring 2002)

 

Decoration is a poetic and political force. Though the Arts and Crafts movement advocated for decoration’s importance, the decorative arts succumbed to society’s shift towards machine production and division of labor. The result was the chastening of decorative arts into “design” – a cultural form that became inextricably linked with the growth of capitalism. Modernism’s disavowal of ornamentation engendered a negative relationship between Western architecture and anything that could be thought of as “decorative”. Recently, decoration has been somewhat rehabilitated as a concept in art and architecture, but it remains politically fraught.

To decorate one’s home is an artistic practice, but it is always situated in the economy and the pursuit of exchange value. Interior decorating displays one’s taste and style through the collection and curation of objects and furnishings. The formal focus of Modernist discourse often obscured hidden layers of social and economic determinants, but decoration always has some political content. Through consumer culture, home decoration posits the inhabitant within the field of social capital as a means to justify materialism. It is not a mere visual spectacle. It is also a mechanism that reinforces and disseminates the encoding of socio-political structures, and thus reifies capitalist ideologies. Decoration facilitates and reproduces privileges and class status and with that, exclusion.

Today, the domestic environment can be considered one of the primary sites where radical change is taking place in everyday life. We exist in a moment in which we are able to reassess the line between leisure and labor. Like many activities today, decorating is both pastime and work. It’s a hobby that makes home life more pleasurable, while at the same time adding to the value of one’s financial and social capital, bolstering the overall value of the home.

Rubus Armeniacus (Himalayan blackberry) presents works by nine artists and architects. The works offer ways to understand the rapid social, economic, and environmental shifts our increasingly neoliberal society is undergoing today, and attempts to unpack the implications of decoration as a carrier of both personal and political meaning.

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Featuring works by Denise Scott Brown (b. 1931, Nkana, Zambia), Milano Chow (b. 1987, Los Angeles, CA), Samuel Farrier (b. 1989, Woodland, CA), Ficus Interfaith (Ryan Bush, b. 1990, Denver, CO and Raphael Martinez-Cohen, b. 1989, New York, NY), Nora Maité Nieves (b. 1980, San Juan, PR), Kayode Ojo (b. 1990, Cookeville, TN), Sean Raspet (b. 1981, Washington, DC), Libby Rothfeld (b. 1990, New Brunswick, NJ), and Allan Wexler (b. 1949, Bridgeport, CT)

Curated by Jessica Kwok

 

Jessica’s Apartment is open by appointment only To schedule an appointment: email jessica.s.kwok@gmail.com or call +1 (347) 443-3549 For press inquiries: email jessica.s.kwok@gmail.com

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Water Chesnut Frieze, 2019

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David Wojnarowicz
Untitled (Buffaloes), 1994

 

David Wojnarowicz was an artist, writer and AIDS activist who fought societal homophobia with his art. His work is pervaded by the frustration of not being able to belong to what was considered beautiful and fair. This position continually fluctuates between the desperate desire to be loved and the irresistible attraction to all that society condemns: homosexuality, sexual promiscuity, drugs, rebellion. So, let’s celebrate this month with some of his touchings words from his “Close to the Knives”,

“In loving him, I saw a cigarette between the fingers of a hand, smoke blowing backwards into the room and sputtering planes diving low through the clouds. In loving him, I saw men encouraging each other to lay down their arms. In loving him, I saw small-town laborers creating excavations that other men spend their lives trying to fill. In loving him, I saw moving films of stone buildings; I saw a hand in prison dragging snow in from the sill. In loving him, I saw great houses being erected that would soon slide into the waiting and stirring seas. I saw him freeing me from the silences of the interior life”.