What is a measurement? A means of quantifying an event or object that can also be used to understand other events and objects. How can individual experience and memory be used as a means of measurement, as a tool for recording to express something that goes beyond words? Between Us Is A Namelessness brings together the work of Megan Biddle, Julianna Foster and Rick Salafia in an exploration of measuring and capturing the intangible through sculpture, photography and drawing at the Inliquid Gallery.
Stepping into the gallery space, we encounter an otherworldly archive of unknown landscapes, forms and tools that express the capturing of the unknown. Each work presents a glimpse into subjective perspectives and desires to capture the ephemeral and immeasurable. The sensation of time as experience and memory is conceptualized into events through objects, and plays to the Anne Carson poem “Between Us And” that the show takes its name from. In the act of viewing each artist's expression of captured and measured memory, these works connect with the viewer through a desire to express the inexpressible to bring a name to the namelessness of experience.
A wall is dedicated to Rick Salafia’s “Instruments”, each thoughtfully placed to create a puzzle of whimsical and geometric forms. While some seem like they could measure tangible things like complex angles, a window arch, a blade of grass, others speak to the desire to capture the ephemeral and intangible. These expressions speak to a subjectivity that the viewer can find within them, where one tool could be to measure the bloom of a flower for one person, and another could see it as a means of measuring the shape of a light beam. Among these instruments, etched with marks of measurement, one bears the words “MAKE THINGS DO THINGS MAKE THINGS”. This text speaks directly to the repetitive process of crafting each form as a kind of compulsion and desire to capture what cannot be quantified.
On a wall adjacent to Salafia’s “Instruments” Meghan Biddle’s fused glass works “Further For Now” play with repetition and time through layering and the accentuation of splintering cracks and bubbles trapped below the surface. This focus on process and organic presentation is also shown in her pate de verre sculpture on the same wall, “Ripple”. “Ripple” carries a fluidity in its form and subtle gradient that captures a moment of surface tension, accentuating the liquid qualities of glass. Biddle’s sculptural forms express a sense of time passed that has been preserved while mirroring processes of nature. In these sculptural forms, there is a tactile engagement with the viewer through the capturing of time through texture and materiality.
An archway in the back of the gallery is adorned with a vinyl print of collaged mountains, an inversion of the arch’s shape. Mounted in front of the vinyl is a lightbox with backlit film, illuminating another set of mountains with warm light. This installation, “Geographical Lore: Sandstone Garden”, creates a portal to an imagined world that beckons the viewer to step into it. In the act of creating imagined landscapes through photographic collage and assemblage, Julianna Foster’s series “Geographical Lore” presents ethereal images that evoke ideas of exploration and discovery. This synthesization between photography and sculptural form is elevated through the selective use of color and thoughtful lighting. Foster’s work speaks to ideas of memory and history through the act of creating landscapes from photographic processes of reconstruction and augmentation. “In Moon Phases I and II” dream-like landscapes are created, utilizing acts of repetition, which give a sense of movement through astrological imagery. In these works, there are intimate expressions of memory and a desire to represent the idea, or recollection of a space.
In the center of the gallery a typewriter with a long spool of paper sits on a table. A small placard sits next to it, prompting visitors to turn it on and answer four questions:
“What is a
di s ta n c e
that you want to measure?
What kind of tool would you need to
What is something which you long for
What is the shape of the space
between you and it?”
These questions capture the expressions of time, space and memory each artist presents. In each expression of the intangible, Biddle, Foster and Salafia create flowing conversation through their works and their processes of creation. Glass cast into rippling forms and layered cracks, drawings of repetition through line, aluminum sculpted into rulers to measure the unknown, and time marked through photographic collage assemblages. Through these processes, each artist takes explorations of the unobservable, or noumena, and shifts into phenomena, giving the ability to view something personal that is otherwise unseen or immeasurable.
"Instruments" by Rick Salafia
"Between Us is a Namelessness" at InLiquid Gallery, featuring artwork by Julianna Foster, Rick Salafia, and Megan Biddle.