fold / field, 2009November, 2009
“Emma Lashmar’s spectacular fantasia of glass
and fishing line, a work which could be perhaps read as a glimpse into a
microscopic world of protons and neutrons on a macroscopic scale, or
alternatively a 3-D map of the universe, of vast planets and massive stars,
rendered at a manageable, more understandable level.
Or perhaps you will see it as something entirely different.”
Richard Watt’s, 3RRR presenter ‘Smart Arts’, Melbourne radio.
The possibilities of liminal spaces and transitionary experiences…
An excerpt from the artists’s Honours exegesis, 2009…
The focus of my work at present explores the notion that perception of forms being perceived vaguely in a moment of passing, spaces opening into other spaces in the process of transit, may be understood as an integral mode of experience. I attempt to engage with perception at the point where consciousness undergoes an intuitive shift in the process of passage through spaces, boundaries or territories.
The notion of art as a response to chaos – the “whirling, unpredictable movement of forces, vibratory oscillations that constitute the universe” – was where my research into these themes first found a strong theoretical basis. From within this chaotic primordial universe, philosopher Elizabeth Grosz understands Derrida’s notion that “the first gesture of art, its metaphysical condition and universal expression, is the construction or fabrication of the frame,” and so for Grosz, as for Deleuze, the primary expression of the act of framing is architecture: the process of making territories.
Also, Grosz’ discussion of art generating sensation and embodying the rhythms of the universe speaks strongly to my personal sense of the interconnectedness of seemingly disparate elements: a relationship that I attempt to embody between the various elements and forms employed in my mixed-media work. While these are themes that become essential to the conceptual format in which forms are suspended on tensioned lines in architectural space, they resound equally with the embodied experience of working with the molten glass to create fixed forms. In my own art practice, I am attracted to the wrangling of form from the primordial ooze that molten glass resembles and working with the natural forces required to shape it: chance and elements of chaos, waves of intense heat and light, contact and force, tension, consistency and gravity are each required to enact the becoming-other of glass into a provocative form.
In Jonathan Crary’s writing on the work of artist Robert Irwin, Crary refers to the “contemporary crisis of perception”. Crary posits that in the fast-paced contemporary experience “vagueness [is] synonymous with richness of experience, with holding forth the promise of future revelation or discovery,” and also dubs the contemporary perceptual experience as a ‘patchwork’ of filtered types of vision. The notion that vision itself as indistinct, dissolute and nebulous resonates with my attempt to prompt a consciousness of subtle shifts in perception of the transparent and reflective glass object in space. Crary also rather provocatively suggests that “Irwin [may be] modelling a proposition about a threshold space of creation between painting and architecture”.
My technique of using pre-existing structural elements to hold and frame each individual bubble-like frame of glass (and also the inner water/lens world framed within each) hopefully allows the relationship between architecture and the artwork to become overlapped and confused. I propose to blur the constructed boundaries defining the creation of an artwork as a process definitively other than the creation of a building, while continuing to make a study of the resonances, tensions, dialogue and lapses of communication that occur between entities/objects/bodies in space, and the processes that continuously reconfigure, deconstruct and renegotiate the limits and nature of any given spatial construct.
fold/field is thus a creation of opportunity, born of the possibilities presented by a particular set of circumstantial events… objects/frames/architectural constructions, within a temporal state of eternal flux. It is a wrangling of particular pre-chosen elements/objects/materials into a singular entity existing with/in the constructed frame of a particular architectural space and the types of vision/light/modes of seeing encapsulated within its construct.