11 September 2010 - 23 October 2010

ROSALIND NASHASHIBI
Woman behind a cushion

There are at least two ways to look at a given thing. First, any single entity (or an expression, or a gesture) can be read within the context where it appears. This is a basic truth: each part is determined by its position within the whole. Without the latter each fragment would be overdetermined, meaning too much and nothing at the same time. Like a handle without a cup. Context is order. But what is the order of things and gestures? First and foremost, it is a rhythm - a certain predictability of sequences and distances which allows one to move and think. This rhythm does not really mean anything by itself, it is more like a lining enveloping every shape without itself being visible. In relationship to the rhythm things start to signify.

Now there is also a completely opposite way of looking at things, as if they existed on their own. Imagine observing a tool from an unknown ancient civilization. The world to which it belonged is not there anymore, its function and significance are not clear and yet this tool persists somehow; it is not completely obscure, standing there on its own it suggests some kind of a purposeful structure to our vision. It is as if this thing also had a certain rhythm, but the rhythm is inside of it, not outside.

It seems that somewhere in between there must be yet another way that does away with the twofold distinction altogether. Maybe a given thing, something tangible and specific, can impersonate a rhythm, this silent and invisible under-structure. And vice versa, maybe a context (something general and abstract in essence) can become a particular form. Imagine looking at a thing or a gesture which is not quite recognizable, not having a history one could retrace, but still making some kind of mute sense. A thing as an absolute beginning, already orchestrating a universe around itself before anybody even realizes or speaks about it.

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