Process, which was acted out literally in the previous two spaces (Barrier and Filter), is implied in the third, Threshold. The object is not an object: it is an image of process where the garment is never finished. The “work,” then, is a verb not a noun. I resist the notion that this object is complete, static, a period to the statement of the exhibition. It’s unfinishing itself; The stillness of the thread here leaves us with an unspecified direction of movement- the figure may move up, or down, but certainly through this threshold.
“Vested for Apotropaic Breath” started as a technical investigation of weaving a jacket- the sleeves and body simultaneously- on a loom. Passing the weft through the back and front of the garment, then around the back and front of the sleeves in a circular path, weft by weft, line by line, I wrote this epidermis under the tension of an eight harnessed machine. Connecting the sleeves to the body starts with an act of destruction: cutting off the warp threads one by one (undoing the very means by which a loom holds threads in order to weave), and then weaving them back into the body. Once it has been reinserted into the weft, each thread exits the garment, suturing another millimeter of the seam. I was interested in the notion that a body lay flat, taut, lifeless, (a potential body), but especially that the loom was translating the body from individual strands to integrated cloth. Any weaving mechanism transforms, but in this case, the strands are cut off and reincorporated. The garment, the skin that envelopes a body, ultimately springs forth, life breathed into it, once it is completely through the loom.
“Apotropaic” from Greek apotropaios turning away (evil), means having the power to prevent evil or bad luck. Associations of magic, from singular inexplicable occurrences to the ubiquitous mystique of birth, lend themselves to this talisman that is neither ascending nor descending, but simply moving. The direction, and the association of ascent (attainment of some hierarchical achievement) or descent (condemnation, loss of control) is less important than the notion of suspension. The sculpture provides a crystallized glimpse at an otherwise tenuous state of being: in between. It is when we are between one state and another that we may have the most clarity, and therefore certainty, of where we sit, what we believe, and an ability to entertain both one’s native world view and that of another culture. Betweenness is not a state, but rather a movement.
In a way, we can say that nothing is ever static or secure because literally, on an atomic level, our parts are constantly moving. An immobile body hides the gushing of gastric fluids, throbbing of muscular tissue, and the transfer of molecular bits through cell walls. Our thoughts flutter incessantly and our definition of ourselves in relation to the world around us is a constant negotiation. Movement is the only certainty: movement delineates wholeness.