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have                                                                 Sara Ellen Fowler

              pieces clockwise from door

 

untitled

bedspread

 

drawer

found breakfast table

 

traction enough

museum wax, ceiling fan dust, studio dust, armature

 

silk Blood Eagle

mink dyed rabbit shrug

 

pair (from the heart of the heart of the)

shoes, rock salt

 

 

At the angle of their making, the pieces have me as much as I attend to them.

 

At the level of reception, these works are made available so we might consider what it means to make and use an object intimately.

 

I’ve been interested in the pervasive vow, to have and to hold. It’s an eventful commitment and a drawn out promise. The idea strikes me for its simultaneous consumption and support. As a personal dedication, and all the way through to a disenchanted institution of affairs, the expression is recognizable on multiple scales and levels. I take the prompting of this declaration to heart. 

Moreover, the qualities of have are what I’m really concerned with: the ideas about posture, consumption, generosity, relationships, and material interfaces enfolded therein. To have is a kind of taking stock, an act that leaves room for development and uncertainty and other emotions and opportunities. Contextualizing the practice in terms of this kind of sentiment and process gives permission for the work to be expressive in a way that the sensitive, personal content is not presented representationally so much as it is embodied physically.

With these sculptures, assertions and interactions are made possible through the recognition of elements of duration, labor and touch, form (texture, color, collage) and gesture, and particular phenomenology. Additionally, source material from other spaces like literature, communication and image-making systems (i-phone), and personal relationships contribute to the formal decision-making and content.

One of the great conditions of sculpture is the opportunity to cultivate material relationships. My investigations are usually open-ended and extend over good lengths of time. I get to take advantage of the poetic meaning of physical/material accretion in semiotic or associative terms. (I keep track of the advancing and receding tide of these conceptual points of contact through the arc of the making, and some of this note taking is charted in the text accompanying the title list for this show.) Investments in language and labor are affinities I share with Ann Hamilton’s work. And her understanding of the way materials carry information in a seamless, un-cumbersome way has been a touchstone for these sculptures. 

All of these pieces are sourced from domestic understanding and everyday use. The intimate or banal scale of the decisions contributes to the way I want to consider having and interacting – by virtue of a soft inversion of familiarity that activates desire and attention. The atmospherics, or ambiance, circulating through the logics of the sculptures, site an ingressive form of image making. The gestures may create a wake of questions about mind and entropy, pathos and potential energy. 

In these works there is a convergence somewhere in between Robert Smithson’s interviews concerning entropy and Louise Bourgeois’s personal narratives relating trauma and consolation felt as a concealed presence radiating warmth in the night. An emotional interest in thermodynamics manifested itself when I began to keep track of how heat was emerging, literally, in the studio. The plain facts of the incidence (occurring when I was taking apart the bedspread et. al) were re-animated in a manner that sincerely informed the corporeal and romantic incidents in the work. Now, even down to the use of museum wax, which must be warmed with the hands to be made pliable, a temperature metaphor for presence activates the body and contributes a sensual understanding to the premise of have. 

 

have                                                                      Sara Ellen Fowler

 

 

 

untitled

bedspread

 

List (noun), also a selvage, the edge of woven fabric finished so as to prevent raveling, often in a narrow tape effect, different from the body of the fabric.

The selvage here was long-ways and whiter. The short-side seams, kinked soft as broken fingers, all waiting, and all emancipated.

The list (noun) here, just a set of facts: 

Bedspread was purchased the summer before coming to school.

Everything and it all did not happen there. She lists (verbs).

 

 

drawer

found breakfast table

 

What are the differences in building a drawer, and remembering one? Opening or packing one? Or recording its presence in light?

This table - we’re in a domestic space and an undisclosed nook and a public exhibition.

Being filled is a drawing and

 

 

traction enough

museum wax, ceiling fan dust, studio dust, armature

 

Ceiling fan because she’s got to look at something when she opens her eyes, and edges are a predominant preoccupation. Foam core lips slicing thick air may be as visceral as sharpness found in one’s own body.

Bedspread in the studio, the entropic shucking, the color in corners, reminds her answers might manifest in what feels like lightness. In another letter she typed, each morning when bones are not traction enough and all the blankets in the house do not equal the weight of half another body.

Relationships are amalgam gestures conspiring towards yes and can and here.

The backs of hands coming together, and permission may be another word for love.

 

 

 

silk Blood Eagle

mink dyed rabbit shrug

 

A Blood Eagle is an act of violence whereby two incisions are made on either side of the spine, cracking through the rib cage. The subject’s lungs are pulled from their body cavity, out into the same air that inflates the organ. Flapping about the back, the last breaths are made visible.

How is temperature of respiration converted in the body’s inverted system? 

And who reports/records the manner in which the lungs are emptied or filled when death alights?

 

 

pair (from the heart of the heart of the)

shoes, rock salt

 

In the alley behind Ted’s where we used to walk the dog. She took a gallon bag of it with her. Fistfuls, back. 

 

There is a tea she makes for canker sores.