‘If a life fulfilled its vocation directly, it would miss it.’ (1)
Two objects that are separate contain the potential to join together. A cut, or gap signifies a break and a connection. Rachel Fäth’s Lock includes mounting systems that scale the walls at differing heights of Loggia. At 45-degree angles, most of these mounting systems, made of sandblasted steel, so smooth that they absorb our fingerprints, protrude from the wall into the room in the form of 4-inch square tubes. Steel extenders slide onto the mounting systems, dressing them. The extenders are clunky, producing shadowlands on the walls. Each part of them is doubled and held together with coins found on the sidewalk, or hinges, or they are welded. Words like forever-ever, kitschy, pop language are emblazoned onto them, holding these objects together, sometimes only partially visible, and mixed with the language of codes, the serial numbers already printed on the metal surface. Language connects, but in its nonsensical, Dadaist form. The pieces gesture to a line through the space, which, like its language, deviates and stutters between each part.
The pieces were made in Fäth’s Hudson Square studio in New York, a space with visible architectural technology and lacking in natural light. The studio looks onto the financial district where traffic enters Holland Tunnel, connecting Lower Manhatten to Jersey City in New Jersey West. Her objects point to the infrastructure that makes a building and a city operational, but which is usually hidden behind its walls, or contained in boxing, a network of invisible structures that maintain flows of energy, gas and water. Lock then, speaks of potential dis-function, of objects breaking down, of uselessness and crassness, of crisis. The mounting system and the extender create an image of non-functional infrastructure to show us the tension and potential for connection. The distance between two parts allows them to come back together.
In philosophy or thinking, Theodor Adorno describes distance from the ‘continuity of the familiar’ as what produces value in thought.(2) In love, Gillian Rose says that distance, or a boundary must remain intact so that lovers can approach and retire from each other, so that neither meets their effacement or obliteration in their connection.(3) If there is an intolerable quantity of fear between two parts, emotion will feel like it will overwhelm and destroy the singularity of each. Lock shows us a similar thought, in the difficulty of navigating the self and other and the other in the self. The mounting system in the extender. The break is always also a connection, cutting away and toward. The objects are made of an infinite number of breaks, discontinuous yet implying a symmetry.
— Rose-Anne Gush
(1) Theodor W. Adorno, Minima Moralia: Reflections on Damaged Life, trans. E. F. N. Jephcott (London; New York: Verso Books, 2005), p. 81.
(2) Ibid., p. 80.
(3) Gillian Rose, Love’s Work (New York: NYRB Classics, 2011), p. 142.