FROM THE DESK OF LUCY BULL
a group show with
ANNA SOLAL, FICUS INTERFAITH, JOANNE GREENBAUM and NOLAN SIMON/DYLAN SPAYSKY
2.17.19 - 3.27.19
Sunday, February 17th
2 - 5pm
In a letter to the editor of the journal Nature dated February 12, 1923, one William Garnett touted the prescience of Edwin A. Abbott’s Flatland, a forgotten novella of the previous century. Written as a satire of Victorian society, it had achieved new relevance, per Garnett, in light of Einstein’s general relativity:
Some thirty or more years ago a little jeu d'esprit was written by Dr. Edwin Abbott entitled Flatland. At the time of its publication it did not attract as much attention as it deserved. Dr. Abbott pictures intelligent beings whose whole experience is confined to a plane, or other space of two dimensions, who have no faculties by which they can become conscious of anything outside that space and no means of moving off the surface on which they live. He then asks the reader, who has consciousness of the third dimension, to imagine a sphere descending upon the plane of Flatland and passing through it. How will the inhabitants regard this phenomenon? They will not see the approaching sphere and will have no conception of its solidity. They will only be conscious of the circle in which it cuts their plane. This circle, at first a point, will gradually increase in diameter, driving the inhabitants of Flatland outwards from its circumference, and this will go on until half the sphere has passed through the plane, when the circle will gradually contract to a point and then vanish, leaving the Flatlanders in undisturbed possession of their country (supposing the wound in the plane to have healed). Their experience will be that of a circular obstacle gradually expanding or growing, and then contracting, and they will attribute to growth in time what the external observer in three dimensions assigns to motion in the third dimension. If there is motion of our three-dimensional space relative to the fourth dimension, all the changes we experience and assign to the flow of time will be due simply to this movement, the whole of the future as well as the past always existing in the fourth dimension.
Anyway, Flatland is no longer forgotten, available today in dozens of editions, celebrated as a clever fable for multidimensional spacetime (in string theory there can be as many as twenty-six dimensions).
In the same issue of Nature there appeared an article on an expansive feat of engineering underway on the other side of the Atlantic, the Coney Island Public Beach and Boardwalk Improvement—the world’s first beach nourishment project. And it wasn’t just the beaches that needed nourishing; by replenishing and expanding the shoreline, New York’s urban planners wanted to encourage the tubercular immigrants crowding the city’s tenements to avail themselves of a health cure of sun and saltwater.
How do these two things relate to each other than having appeared in the same journal? Maybe that’s enough. But if we’ve learned anything from the unforeseeable afterlife of Flatland and the great changes that have occurred in our thinking about public health vis-vis beaches, it’s that you just never know. This, of course, is an important theme in movies like The Beach (2000) and Beaches (1988), in which the beach serves as a symbol of impermanence.
The Nourishment is a group show featuring new work from Anna Solal, Joanne Greenbaum and Nolan Simon/Dylan Spaysky with specific terrazzo supports framing the works by Ficus Interfaith (Raphael Cohen and Ryan Bush).
Anna Solal (b. 1988, Dreux) lives and works in Paris and Marseille. Solal received her Masters degree in Sculpture from Ecole Nationale Superieure de La Cambre (Brussels). Recent exhibitions include Et Al (NADA Miami), Horse&Pony (Berlin), Interstate Projects (New York), Levy Delval ( Brussels), Olso10 (Basel), Art-O- rama (Marseille), Room E 10 27, Museo Experimental El Eco (Mexico City), Rijksakademie (Amsterdam), The Ister (Brussels), Yaby (Madrid) and Damian and the Love Guru (Brussels). She is represented by New Galerie (Paris).
Ficus Interfaith is a collaboration between Ryan Bush (b. 1990, Denver, CO) and Raphael Martinez Cohen (b. 1989, New York, NY). As much a research initiative as studio practice, Ficus Interfaith is focused on their interactions with natural history and environment. Their work has been exhibited recently at Kai Matsumiya (New York, NY), Interstate Projects (Brooklyn, NY), and Prairie (Chicago, IL).
Joanne Greenbaum (b.1953, New York, NY) is an artist based in New York City and Greenport, NY. Recent exhibitions include Ben Maltz Gallery at Otis College of Art and Design (Los Angeles) and School of the Museum Fine Arts (Boston), both in 2018. She is represented by Richard Telles in Los Angeles and has an upcoming show this April.
Nolan Simon (b. 1980, Detroit, MI) lives and works in Detroit, MI. He earned his BFA from the College for Creative Studies, Detroit in 2005. Recent exhibitions include What Pipeline (Detroit), Lars Friedrich (Berlin), Green Gallery East (Milwaukee) and Night Club (Chicago). Simon has a solo show at 47 Canal (New York) opening this February.
Dylan Spaysky (b. 1981, Pontiac, MI) is a sculptor who lives and works in Hamtramck, MI. He earned his BFA from the College for Creative Studies, Detroit in 2007. He has had solo exhibitions at Popps Packing (Detroit), Clifton Benevento (New York), Cue Arts Foundation (New York) and Cleopatra’s (Brooklyn). Recent group exhibitions include Hannah Hoffman (Los Angeles), What Pipeline (Detroit), Museum of Contemporary Art (Cleveland), NGBK (Berlin); and Susanne Hilberry Gallery (Ferndale, MI).