The work that seemed to me to be able to hold its own in the cluttered environment of the Art Fairs this weekend in NYC were pieces that had, at their center, an open-endedness or spaciousness – not a lack, but a loaded emptiness – a meaningful sense of space. There was the giant loop of Mona Hatoum’s Worry Beads, implying without illustrating a human presence, series of gestures, and sense of ritual.
There was the space between the two upside-down dangling figures in Jonathan Schipper’s To Dust, which, as they gently swayed, grated bits of cement off of each other’s surfaces – a reflection on relationships and perhaps time. There was also the cobweb of glass and gourds spilling from the snout of Rina Banerjee’s taxadermied gazelle head, stretching toward a knickknack globe on a little stand. The disparate objects were joined together to shape an implied set of symbolisms some of which related to colonialism and conquest, but the totality of which evaded any one specific interpretation. The meaning happened between the objects in the space that the viewer could construct – leaping visually and associatively from object to object and forming connections. In each of these pieces what wasn’t said or done was as significant as what was.
From Thirteen ways of looking at a Blackbird