The Untied Knot - text

March 17 - April 21, 2012
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The Untied Knot
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In The Untied Knot, Saskatchewan-based artists Stacia Verigin and Tamara Rusnak will transform Neutral Ground's main gallery space into a labyrinth of organic intestinal growths, peppered with piles of plastic bone and flesh. Rusnak's sculptural installation engulfs the viewer in a tactile and olfactory experience. Incorporating traditional crafts such as basket weaving or teepee construction, died with onions, bark and insects, Rusnak's work infects the architecture of the gallery undermining the sterilized and rationalized, white gallery walls with fleshy organic interiors.

Rusnak's installation, in effect, replaces the architecture, becoming the gallery in which Verigin's displays are set. Contrary to Verigin's strategy of engulfment, encroachment and sprawl, Verigin's work is contained within traditional museological vitrines. Within these quarantined cabinets are various collected appendages and growths. Verigin meticulously crafts fingers, crystals and other forms from plastic, arranging them in haphazard piles or assembling them into imagined creatures. Like a dinosaur reconstructed in the image of a shadow puppet, these branching figures follow similar assemblematic logic as Rusnak's interconnecting tendrils. Verigin's sculptures, however, are from the leavings of her commercial sculptural practice: the glue left behind, the fragments of sculptures, or casts made while idly replicating herself, pulling out fragments of the hands she uses to create.

This intuitive morphogenesis imagines the body without oneself. It presents a re-fracturing of the Lacanian mirror where the desire for a connected wholeness of self is instead realized through a scalable interconnectedness where the artists attempt to rejoin an abjected exteriority back into the self. As the viewer looks down at Verigin's separated, replicated, and restructured forms, one could imagine an endoscopic camera deep inside, enlarging the sights within to the fungal spore like constructions of Rusnak. In this space between the two artists, overlooked by one while down on the other, the site of the viewer is entrenched in liminality, reflecting it’s own image in an affirmation of their own bodily presence both inscribed both within and without.

Curated by John G. Hampton