Jan Kaps, Cologne
Patricia L Boyd
1:109 October – 20 December 2015
In some forms of Surrealism, particularly those in oil, the picture plane acts as a kind of window: perhaps
opening to scenes set out of doors, precisely onto the unconscious (clouds, clues). The canvas becomes an
illusionistic site of projection; even abstracted. We scan its surface delicately for meaning, staring
scrupulously after the artist’s most unstudied, errant mark. Seeking in all things a signature, a perfect
betrayal, some sign –
The painting as a screen for the viewer’s selfish desires: now, photographed and glimmering through
densely codified pixels, now touched by softly spreading fingers and so sprawled, excruciatingly, across
the square face of your gently cradled radiant device. Or else the glazed surface, also concealing a micro
two-way camcorder, smartly returns the leering looker’s spellbound gaze back to himself. No way, nor
window out. We are captured by the glancing cinematic image, a shadowy exteriorized self, assaying only
glass upon which we vaguely receive another – perceive an other – side. Beyond the pane: a distant pale.
From the street: a dissimilar relation to the transparent, all-encompassing enclosures of private property,
personal promotion, allover assemblages of sexy saleable goods. The modernist envelope – a storefront
paean to engineered urbanity (Haussmann, the Manhattan grid) – presents itself as permeable, and still
more plausibly, durable panel for the illicit action of “getting up.” Here, outside, the deviant mark
performs a distinct bourgeois undesirability, inscribing a disobedient politics of display.
Lovers are like bees in that they live a honeyed life
Abolish class society
Sous les paves, la plage!
Give peace a chance
Die yuppie scum
Truths to spend the time (the $$) buffering, blatantly, out. For a good time, sell now.
The street, they will say, is no place for writing. The street? Do not mistake it for a blank page. This shop
bears no particular significance for your “poetry.” And still, among certain populations, an acid écriture
Patricia L Boyd’s recent large-scale prints invert relations between façade and facture. They are
photograms: made carefully, camera-lessly, from the direct (transparent) object of the one-to-one framed
windowpane. Erratic exposure to nocturnal (street) light, for variously intuited durations, eventually maps
the distinct imprint of each discontented external scratching a dedicated building bears. The result: a sort
of light-sensitive frottage. The work was made in San Francisco; the words, melting into murky shades of
ink-stained gray, not always legible. But as fully interiorized reproductions of the city’s unruly, labored
writers, these darkened plates plainly ask: are you in, or are you out?