new work (A History of Greece).

What is the subject of truth’s relationship to the encyclopedic?

And if one is faithful to a truth, how does its process sculpt everything? What is the structure of its fidelity, and what attributes does it possess? And continuing this logic forward – what form does collective subjectivity to a truth process take?

And I’m not talking representationally. I don’t want a piece of art to “look like” this process. Nor do I want it to be an abstraction of its terms. There must be a third pole. It goes like this: it exists.

The Invisible Committee writes, “A truth isn’t something we hold but something that carries us” (The Coming Insurrection, 97).

This process of “being carried by a truth” has a structure, a form, and most importantly, a history. This history, then, has a material existence. It is something. It is books, printed language. It is windows and reflections. It is cloth and it is metal. It is burning. It is color.

On March 17th, two new wall-mounted sculptures were featured in a group show in Venice, CA at the Westminster Space. These new works were contextualized alongside a past, companion piece, Suspended Rebar.

Paul Wallace's "A History of Greece" at the Westminster Space

These two new pieces engaged this process of “being carried by a truth” in two  different ways: one narratively, and one materially.

A History of Greece

A History of Greece compresses truth’s relationship to the Western tradition into a single term: the subject. What is the subject of a truth, on a sincere, psychological level? For me this means – what is my relationship with my tradition?

"A History of Greece" - by Paul Wallace

Not, “how do I break with my tradition,” but rather, “how can I produce truths within the fissures of my tradition?”

The story goes like this: I exist within the mythologies of the West. Its language is my language; its history, mine. Yet there is a lens, at once transparent and reflective, that is suspended above the encyclopedic. This lens is my truth process. Its suspension is my work. Like a magnifying-lens in the sun, this window burns the printed page. Its inferno pries open the fault-lines of the text, loosing the void at the very heart of language.

"A History of Greece" - detail

The true history of Greece, then, is this capacity for obliteration – the capacity to open up newness within the ancient.

"A History of Greece" - detail

A History of Greece is ancient Greek history-book pages wallpapered onto board, measuring 3 feet by 3 feet. 90 degree bent rebar is secured to the four points of the compass. A piece of glass, 1 foot by 1 foot, is suspended above the surface of the pages by four segments of plaster-soaked linen cloth. Beneath the glass, the pages are burnt.

"A History of Greece" - side view

Suspended Rope

Opening up the project begun with Suspended Rebar, this new piece speaks to a collective form. No longer is each color or each rebar isolated. Suspended Rope brings yellow, green and orange together. It presents three ropes, each gripped by each color.

"Suspended Rope" by Paul Wallace

The strength of its form is heightened by its collective sensibility. While rebar remains a structural element, rope is an intersubjective one. It speaks, on a formal level, towards collectivity.

Thus, Suspended Rope addresses the potential of intersubjectivity within materialism – both the power and the strength of collective gesture, made from a standpoint of the pure bodily, the pure of building material.

"Suspended Rope" - side view

Suspended Rope consists of a 30 inches by 30 inches segment of drywall contained within a wood frame pained with white house paint. Three segments of rope are suspended above the drywall by three strips of linen cloth. The cloth is soaked in plaster and colored with stucco house pigment.


About Paul Wallace

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