If the “other side” of life is death (afterlife?), if the other side of physical human existence is burial, cremation, or another form of corporeal eradication … How do we create meaning from the things people leave behind?
Sally Mann’s photograph of the studio of her lifelong friend and fellow artist Cy Twombly, taken around the time of his death in 2011, asks: Does the artist’s imprint remain in his studio, or do we imprint ourselves, our sentiments, our longings onto the deceased’s belongings? What can the materials of lived existence tell us when the owners are no longer here to reveal their own stories?
Where Mann contemplates a single person, Dario Robleto offers a meditation on many. After secretly collecting pieces of lint, hair, loose threads, and other debris from people, Robleto crafted a single thread, which he wound around his beloved grandmother’s antique wooden spool. He then used the thread to mend some items before establishing it as a static sculpture. The work is an unapologetically romantic manifestation of our collective lives and of the unknown connections between strangers. What magic is contained in the discarded, valueless bits of our everyday lives? What can we use to sew ourselves together?
From the exhibition: Other Side:
Art, Object, Self (August 12, 2017 – January 3, 2018)