SA­MARA GOLDEN

BOMB Magazine - - CONTENTS - Kristin Lu­cas

I went on a few ad­ven­tures as a prompt for writ­ing this re­sponse to Sa­mara Golden’s The Flat Side of the Knife. I was drawn to the way that Golden’s in­stal­la­tion teth­ered me be­tween a re­al­time phys­i­cal pres­ence and a time­less, psy­chi­cally charged, il­lu­sion­ary space. I sought to rean­i­mate as­pects of my ex­pe­ri­ence through ac­tiv­i­ties I could do from Austin, Texas, which would sim­i­larly trig­ger both em­bod­i­ment and disem­bod­i­ment. I first went to a mir­ror maze that was closed for ren­o­va­tion; next, to a haunted house; fi­nally, to a sen­sory de­pri­va­tion tank. I chose to write from the ex­pe­ri­ence of the lat­ter given that float­ing be­tween worlds led to a per­me­able, less an­a­lyt­i­cal form of writ­ing, while ful­fill­ing the prom­ise of en­hanced brain ac­tiv­ity and deep re­lax­ation.

Se­lect sound­track. “Ocean Waves” or “Key­boards” or “Sounds for the Su­per­mar­ket (1975)” or “That Song You Sing Along to While Chang­ing the Lyrics to Bet­ter Mir­ror Your Own Life.” Take off your clothes. Rinse off the day. Step into glow­ing iso­la­tion tank. Close lid. Turn off light. Face your fears. En­ter ghostly “Ocean Waves.” At­tain equi­lib­rium. Im­merse your­self in at­mo­spheric sound: splitscreen videoscape of waves crash­ing on a loop, mix­ing well with the scent of Ep­som salts. Awaken your senses. Es­cape your body. Let the waves pull you in, mark­ing time, a metronome for mul­ti­di­men­sional, tri- level travel through an ex­ploded view of a split- sec­ond splice, ex­tracted from some­one else’s life, frozen and mul­ti­plied.

In­side now. Time to make the piece peace. Still think­ing. “Key­boards” may have been a bet­ter match to Golden’s in­stal­la­tion. Next time. Let go. Get your money’s worth! Lose your sense of spa­tial ori­en­ta­tion in the dark in­fi­nite mir­ror maze. Min­utes later, drift­ing. Half- sub­merged in salt wa­ter with my eyes shut. Al­pha waves kick­ing in.

Vis­ual cor­tex stirs up a vi­sion of words from my notes rest­ing buoy­antly on the wa­ter’s sur­face sur­round­ing my body. Free form. I’mfloat­ing on a 3- D axis. I pivot but my body stays in place.

Mind’s eye view. What I see, in this or­der: Stairs with chairs. Mir­rored and re­flec­tive cam­ou­flag­ing sur­faces. A cello. Beds. Car­pets. Clus­ters of string in­stru­ments. Couches in kalei­do­scopic ar­range­ments. Ocean waves pour­ing over a rock. Half of a half moon. Go­ing deeper. Cap­tur­ing more de­tail. Dou­bling ev­ery­where. Three beds on three lev­els in three col­ors: warm pink­peach, hos­pi­tal blue, and pure white. An in­tra­venous pole. A pack of shad­owy fig­ures haunting un­der­neath the stair­well. Pre­car­i­ously placed up­ward fall­ing wheel­chairs on stairs trav­el­ing in dif­fer­ent di­rec­tions onto dif­fer­ent lev­els. Catas­tro­phe loom­ing. Prob­a­ble sce­nar­ios: life, half- life, after­life.

De­scend a solid set of stairs to catch another view. Plaid ev­ery­where. Couch. Um­brel­las. Bows. Stuffed an­i­mals of all sizes and kinds sewn out of the same cloth with uni­fy­ing com­pas­sion. On a mon­i­tor, a live closed- cir­cuit video feed of the blue bed with Chroma- keyed text mov­ing like scan lines over the im­age. In­side, ideas, wor­ries, lists, and email cor­re­spon­dence that re­flect the think­ing and cre­ative process. A boombox blar­ing, de-spa­tial­iz­ing mu­sic into the cav­ernous atrium.

End ses­sion. With a com­pli­men­tary cup of Re­vival tea. Con­tinue writ­ing from couch couch. Sur­rounded by cats, stuffed an­i­mals. The experiment turns coun­ter­pro­duc­tive. My body be­comes heavy, a body in jeop­ardy. I am too re­laxed, se­dated to write. — Kristin Lu­cas is an artist liv­ing be­tween Austin and New York City.

In­stal­la­tion views of THE FLAT SIDE OF THE KNIFE, 2014, MoMA/ PS1, New York. above: View from first floor land­ing; CRT mon­i­tor with live video feed com­ing through video mixer, plaid car­pet, um­brel­las, rib­bons, couch.

be­low: De­tail of view from sec­ond floor down to mir­rored floor; stair­ways, so­fas, beds, ta­bles, lamps, fans and in­stru­ments made of re­flec­tive foam in­su­la­tion coated in resin, video pro­jec­tion, live video feed, video mixer, CRT mon­i­tor, three sound­tracks.

In­stal­la­tion view of THE FLAT SIDE OF THE KNIFE, 2014, MoMA/ PS1, New York. View from first floor land­ing down into mir­rored floor; stair­ways, so­fas, beds, ta­bles, lamps, fans and in­stru­ments made of re­flec­tive foam in­su­la­tion coated in resin, video pro­jec­tion, live video feed, video mixer, CRT mon­i­tor, three sound­tracks. Im­ages cour­tesy of the artist.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.