Template for an Exhibition Experience
James English Leary
Your body stands in front of the thing. Your eye is the intersection of perception and the body. Your body is a problem. As in, no one has ever been in a truly empty room. As in, you are always accompanying yourself. You and your body go to the show. As if on a date. The exhibition is made up of you, your body and the body of the thing and the body of the public. This show, or any show, could be called “Bodies: An Exhibition.” It is not. Look at the thing. Be careful with interpretation. The thing might turn around and start interpreting you. The abyss stares back and licks it’s lips. The Mona Lisa is looking at you right now. You are changed by it, as all things are changed by being observed. You are changed by the thing and you change the thing. The work, by virtue of its discreteness, moves through time and space. As does your body. The subject of this work, or any work, could be the transposition of differing conceptions of space. It is not. The thing works on you. Slowly then fast. Fast then slowly. There are big “P” politics. There are little “p” politics. There is propaganda and education. There is the catharsis of suddenly understanding how a thing was made. There is the spring thaw that makes the frozen lake within you begin to finally melt. No one can claim that the works in this show contribute to the dissipation of political energy. On the other hand, everyone can claim whatever they wish. Everyone can chose for themselves what to notice and where to protest. Neurosis and interpretation? The very same thing. The Rorschach test is a satire of abstraction. The effect of this work, or any work, could be the radicalization of your consciousness through form and affect. It is not.
James English Leary is a painter and arts instructor living in New York City. He is busy working on upcoming shows at Sim Galeria in Curitiba, Brazil and Galerie Lisa Kandlhofer in Vienna.