Caro, Cathexis, Contraband, 2023 embossed paper, bier pins, steel clamp 110 x 25.4 cm
A Semblance of the Barracoon, 2023
acrylic-based laminate, walnut mount
28.5 x 17.5 x 6 cm
A Semblance of the Barracoon, 2023 (detail)
The longing I have for an evening walk on the course is insatiable. I need the crisp air of Spring in my lungs, the weight of clubs on my shoulder, and the delight of a dog by my side. Only these ingredients can cure the ailments of a maddening Winter. There are 19 days until daylight savings time... #playorperish, 2023 archival inkjet print, walnut frame 93 x 62.5 cm
The longing I have..., 2023 (detail)
FrankCrum remains steadfast in our beliefs that hard work should be rewarded, that growth opportunities and flexibility is key. Everyone benefits when we work together to create a fun, engaged, and stable workplace., 2023 archival inkjet print, walnut frame 93 x 62.5 cm
The Nocturnal Letter: Blackness, Enjoyment, and the Slave(ry) of Discourse (office), 2023
Apotheosis (Full Audio) Soundscape Designed by Ian Ellison for Cimiteria
At the center of the space, Garden’s ballasts are composed of concrete,calcium-oxide from limestone carapaces of marine life, incinerated refuse from an undisclosed waste-to-energy facility (which functions as a binding agent), and coated/mixed with iron-oxide. Prior to coating, they are bathed in sea water, a method pulled from the processes of antiquity primarily used in the production of Roman concrete, which continuously strengthens the mineral bonds over long periods of time. The iron-oxide coating materially entreats its historical referent: the iron ballasts discovered in 2015 off the coast of South Africa which belonged to the slave ship known as the São José Paquete D’Africa. Documents from the ship recorded the presence of 1,400 ballasts; only 12 have been recovered and are in transnational circulation between institutions. These ballasts functioned to offset the weight of enslaved ‘cargo’ and maintain the ship’s buoyant stability for the duration of its passage.
Garden’s ballasts were cast in a mold designed to produce concrete beams used strictly for flexural testing, which tests the tensile strength of a concrete composite before proper constructional use. In other words, the beams produced with this mold are cast to be pushed to their tensile limit and discarded thereafter. They are valuable/indispensable to the extent that they must be ceded so as to yield measurements toward optimal stability.
The title of the series, ‘après-coup,’ is borrowed from the work of Jean Laplanche, translates roughly as “deferred action” and/or “after-effect”. This is theorized and applied with regards to unconscious material/memory which does not present itself as repressed to the subject until a later point of actuation, whereupon the recognition of this repression (different from an acceptance of it) is only possible through negation or distortion.
“…what fantasies must be harnessed to obscure racial violence into narratives of possibility, of redemption?”
– Selamawit D. Terrefe
Cimiteria, 2023—from the Greek κοιμητήριον (“sleeping chamber”), derivation of κοιμάω (“to put to sleep”). To put to rest; the tabling of death. Providing no palliative nor rapture, these diagrams do not help. You would perhaps want an encounter, a confrontation. Where semblance binds presence, it offers little to celebrate—the object may be gratuitous, but it cannot feign autonomy. A noise, a rattling sound, and the bones came together. Presence waits for that, in some dominion, recreational space, fabric lawns deemed worth exhuming. (Of course, there were no cemeteries there before. But granting that may render everything unlearnable.)
1,400 painted over—serial markings, fixating, almost trivial, coextensive with whatever ends are legible (all of them). Those ends form an immense membrane: the pelagic ground tracing wounded parergon, black limbs, nocturnal pool. But the dispositif is diagrammed, too, by historian, diplomat, diver, by strained tears that lament the loss of the ancestral, of would-be “hopes and dreams.” History: instruments cleaned, sterilized, and ready for use.
The subsequent images withdraw. When raised from the dead as dead, they rise to air, fully registered, still underground. Still as a ground. Banal facts, face to face and nothing else, and always opposite.Recreation—recreare, ‘renew.’ And recovery—to save, as from danger, to defend a proprietary claim. I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin. Here it is again—now flayed open, full or empty, does it matter what would show inside? That never happened either, as you recall.
The World is a kind of practice. The Nothing is there internal (just here), ashen, coincident with everything. World standing forth, textured, on solid space—cannot even place this nothing outside of it. Look upon the work—it’s a gaping hole in the ground that misses you. Quite a thrill, perhaps, to agree or deny. To corroborate a presence: what have we to cure? Good luck to him!
– Dylan Taylor & Diya Mathur
Excerpt from The Nocturnal Letter: Blackness, Enjoyment, and the Slave(ry) of Discourse
“We can observe,” Lacan advances, “that historically the master has slowly defrauded the slave of [its] knowledge and turned it into the master’s knowledge.”(Lacan, 2007) To paraphrase Sara-Maria Sorentino, what results is the need for the discursive incapacity of the Slave, a reservoir of negativity’s immanence which must remain uniquely amenable to the libertine violations of the Human’s (Master’s) desire to know. And there is something crucial afforded to us in Lacan’s use of “defrauded.” It is not simply a desire to know but a desire to deceive what the Subject of psychoanalysis has at its disposal: a veiled memory which must be passionately forgotten each time something is spoken (about it). The character of deception plays an essential role in the discursive dramaturgy of racialized capacity, of knowledge production (which is always its bisection).
The capacity of the Slave, if we are to briefly entertain the idea of one, would only be a capacity to be gruesomely conned out of something which it never had in the first instance: capacity as such, the ability to dawn the accouterments of discourse which might grant it protection from the brutality of everyday semiotic annihilation; the capacity to be something which was not a being for the promise of its own implacable and ineffable suffering. The Slave’s capacity is to be found in the black(ened) half, the Nothingness, beyond* what is said (what is tortured) by the Master. As Frank Wilderson III famously contends, “[The Human] is parasitic because it monumentalizes its subjective capacity, its lush cartography, in direct proportion to the wasteland of Black incapacity.”(Wilderson, 2010) In other words, this direct proportionality is less a comparative maneuver than it is one of dependence and habituation which occurs at the level of libidinalized ontology. This “wasteland of Black incapacity” qua the nocturnal, ineffable, and forgotten property of Being indexes the world-historical processes which have fashioned the African into the Negro or the most exquisite semblance of the seductive terror (Nothingness) harvested from the primordial Thing of the Subject’s enjoyment.