April 6th - May 19th 2018
Featured artists include Mindy Bray, Amy Pleasant, Kevin Perkins, Brian Willmont, Roberto Jamora, Mark Posey, Victor Machado, Andrew Faris, Sarah Boyts Yoder.
0, or the Fool in Tarot’s major arcana, precedes imposing and magnificent figures as the High Priestess, the Magician, the Emperor, the Empress, and even Death. 0 also represents void, and it is relevant that here is where the Fool finds his home. Though the word “void” might carry a nihilistic connotation, the void has also been recognized by mystics of various religions for its relationship to form. For example, the 13th-century Sufi poet Rumi sings, “Praise to the emptiness that blanks out existence. Existence: this place made from our love for that emptiness! Yet somehow comes emptiness, this existence goes. Praise to that happening, over and over!” Thus it is that the Fool occupies the void while implying potential.
For this, JuiceBox’s first exhibition, we take inspiration in the Fool.
Other characteristics of the fool include whimsy, disregard for safety, playfulness, naivety, and intuition. Our focus on these is not intended to express anti-intellectual sentiments. The fact is that if we did not find a way to channel the Fool for ourselves, JuiceBox would not have come into existence and this exhibition would not have been formed. The potential implied by the Fool is something that, perhaps, reason cannot see. Henri Bergson elaborated on the potential of a sort of intuitive knowledge, saying “there is a kind of absurdity in trying to know otherwise than by intelligence; but if the risk is frankly accepted, action will perhaps cut the knot that reasoning has tied and will not unloose.”
In organizing Fool, we also resisted the impulse to frame a visual experience in terms of reason not because of a lack of confidence in the power of language or the need for critical discourse, but because experience is not exhausted by word. Where language fails to adequately describe is the space of the ambiguous, a sort of “other” category that can be understood only through empathy or direct experience.
This is a statement about the impetus for the curation of this show, rather than an interpretation of the individual artists’ work. Rather than highlighting a common theme or concept that unites these artists, they are grouped so as to suggest a common way to approach the work, to invite you to experience the work through feeling. Instead of subordinating the works to our vision, we sought to experiment with chance connections. The only intentional unifying motif is that all the works are 2D.
The experiment, then, is to resist a logocentric opening statement for our first show and to elevate the prelinguistic experience of mediums not individuated by novelty. Here is an attempt to practice this capacity for silent empathy. The condition of our information saturated media- environment creates an imperative for such an experiment. Increasingly, the experience of this environment is not one of objects, but of language; a desert of the real consisting of objects transubstantiated into words, devoid of their unique, often subtle qualities. In another of his poems, Enough Words, Rumi ask the question, “How does a part of the world leave the world? How does wetness leave water?”
Where the map replaces the landscape there is the desert of the real. This is a place that has been thoroughly explored by contemporary artists, but to what effect? What monuments populate this landscape that hasn’t been photographed? Perhaps, when we have grown tired of this landscape, the desert of the real can be repopulated, refreshed, and made fertile once more.