Being-many-together is the originary situation: it is even what defines a “situation” in general. Therefore, an originary or transcendental “with” demands, with a palpable urgency, to be disentangled and articulated for itself. But one of the greatest difficulties of the concept of the with is that there is no “getting back to” or “up to” this “originary” or “transcendental” position; the with is strictly contemporaneous with all existence, as it is with all thinking. - Jean-Luc Nancy MUSSELED, 2020 * Photography: Darren Tesar * Part of ART-IN-PLACE ART-IN-PLACE (AIP) is an initiative of CNL Projects and Terrain Exhibitions Chicago, USA
Artist Note: The following statement, like the paintings in the exhibition, is derived from a prior situation, namely a text sent to Twin Cities artist Tim Tozer to celebrate a recent exhibition of new paintings at Hamline University. In short, this statement, compelled by the paintings of another, becomes the orientation to view the following. Artist Statement: Any and all technical, conceptual and disciplinary developments dwell and metabolize along pathways of encounter, as opposed to occupying any held ground. Painting dwells along a diversifying range of techniques, physical properties and modes of perception. Without the consistent encounter within the technical specificities of a given technology or discipline, the entire apprehension of painting as being that which excommunicates the localized determinations of a technological system would be without its co-substantiating “other”. Still, painting, for all that it codes toward singularity, irreducibility and aura, has been a practice that has stood on heaps of studies, flipped canvases, iterations and intentional omissions. My paintings highlight this paradox by each painting being a “search image”, by placing its plurality first, namely that each painting literally comes from or turns into another painting, be it after 10 years of stasis or 10 days. Traditionally, we have seen this search of image by way of a painter’s history and works, but often we still fixate on some type of refinement or distillation, as opposed to the accumulation and non-localization by which images lose the “s”.
Non-locality, for me, has become an important way to think about irreducibility, as opposed to the traditional belief of the certainty of a “being” as being the most acute form of irreducibility. In short, if this “acute presence” is gone it cannot be replaced. Yet, I feel for another notion, that if it cannot be produced in the first place, it cannot be reduced. In a word, non-locality. Images live in this, be it through pictorialism continually being dis-enclosed by perceptual organs that have not found their end to becoming further modified from within and without our own doing, or by those “involuntary images” Walter Benjamin spoke of (that we never see an image but an image is just all prior images super-imposed onto the one we now stand in front of). In closing, my paintings self-nominate to be “voluntary images”, no longer fearing the bad faith of a singular, autonomous image, under which the involuntary lurks and often dictates against the wishes of the autonomous, intentional artist. Instead, we have images that operate under a kind of “swarm mechanics”. Heteronomous rather than autonomous. To use a phrase by Bio-semiotician, Jakob von Uexküll, these paintings are “trans-specific (though not panpsychic)”. They make an image despite of themselves. To use another’s speech (Timothy Morton), they are “subscendent”, not transcendent. They go further into themselves in order to find specificity, a specificity they cannot really locate since they sometimes look so similar, feel mimicked or just a little damaged.