September 28–November 13, 2018
The sense of vision often serves as a metaphor for understanding the world: seeing is a clean, objective procedure that takes place at a distance and does not affect the object seen. The works in this show synthesize the sense of vision with the senses of touch and taste—processes that, unlike seeing, require physical contact and interference. If sight serves as a deep cultural metaphor for understanding, these works entertain an alternative analogy that shows knowledge as tactile and tasty. A gesture can be sliced like butter. Frames of time bear weight and slump with gravity. Looking at something might get your fingertips sticky. Viewership requires cutlery.
In 50 BC, the Roman poet and philosopher Lucretius offered a resonant account of vision in his vast poem, De rerum natura. In his metaphysics, the visibility of an object depends on the object shedding a visual skin. He writes that appearances “are like films or may be named a rind, because the image bears like look and form with whose body has shed its fluttering forth…like smoke from oaken logs and heat from fires—and some more interwoven and condensed—as when the locusts in summertime put off their glossy tunic or when calves at birth drop membranes from their body’s surface”.