Mirages, Fountains & Dissociative Composition

April 26–June 4, 2011

Mirages, Fountains & Dissociative Composition, Catherine Bastide gallery, 2011, exhibition view

Mirages, Fountains & Dissociative Composition, Catherine Bastide gallery, 2011, exhibition view


Mirages, Fountains & Dissociative Composition

With works by Julien Bismuth, Jean-Pascal Flavien, Geert Goiris, Ed Johnson, Helen Marten, Matthew Metzger, Leigh-Ann Pahapill, Valerie Snobeck, Catherine Sullivan, Emily Wardill

Bellagio Mentale

Two persons, customarily dressed, sit on opposing sides of a fountain. Their thoughts are interdependent. They make sketches exploring eidetic imagery. Both persons are skilled in the redirection and recall of anxiety, legitimate attachment, and nuances in concepts like “vernacular” and “kitsch”.

The fountain flows in arbitrary intervals. Imagined esophagi and urethra are tortured by unspeakable pressure from water pumped to nozzles housed in marble penises and bronze mouths. Jets with full spherical range shoot braids of water over a black geometry, remarkable only as a giver of life to cascades of froth one can easily smell. Residual anger rims the fountain. The townspeople came here to escape the flames. On a mound at its center is a living maple tree.  

A presentiment is on our two persons, and their first sketch is a redirect. They divide the paper into quadrants: lyrical, bureaucratic, seasonal, eternal. ‘Tis the time for syrup and the contour of a bucket unites the quadrants in one of the drawings while distinctions are decomposed in the second sketch because of the sap that drips from the tap. Returning again is the same presentiment… sugar (cancel)… cane (cancel)… molasses (cancel). To the north we had no such problems. Redirect: sketch something for use on the label of a bottle. Obviously, this would have to be a leaf. At that, the sound of the pump distracts our two persons, although nothing about it has changed.

“We’ll call this one finished for now.” Four leaves align at the midrib but have variable blades.

The two persons turn their attention to the fountain’s absolute texture. It collapses into mists along with the city’s other effects. Unfolding through the vapors is a scene between two men at a gas station. In the first episode the vapors condense around the men as if in an explosion. In the second scene they drop and float around the men’s feet. In the final episode there is an infusion and the men become personified clouds. Restless and ashamed of this image, the two persons rehearse other options. Through the vapors, and with high concentration, they bring into focus an articulated haircut and some ethnic detail.

It whispers, “Verochka, don’t worry, good dialogue is often given to the secretary.”

The two persons, wait for the vapors to vacate this pattern. They change positions and return to one of the many surfaces they’ve worked on before. They imagine the fountain’s prehistory, the megalith, so many purposes animated in one’s mind. Transported, alarmed, presentiment now an effusion of primary feeling, they return to the water, everything moves but nothing refuses. The fountain is lit, the water is colored and it dances to Aaron Copland’s Appalachian Spring. The pump works overtime.

Catherine Sullivan

Please download Mirages, Fountains & Dissociative Composition pdf here


Exhibition views