"What if you stop and cut off the analogy you’re about to make and leave it open? But what if I stop there, rather than completing the image the words connect to? What if they’re not like anything? What any analogy exposes is not the exact thing itself but its failure, that it’s not this thing. Hold back and there’s a gap, the space the simile was going to paste over. Let the hole remain and you expose something more profound, certainly more unfinished and shaggy than the thing you were going to compare it to in the first place." What happens when language fails us? When words are just poor approximations, and they smooth over the weird and wonderful. Meet Kate Newby, who I write about for The Weeklings and whose art can be radically slight, and is failed by trying too hard to describe it.
Entries in La Loge (2)
For the March issue of Frieze, I write about the work of New Zealand artist Kate Newby, whose pieces can be radically slight – so small they can be easy to overlook. Through them she asks questions of us and art and what we notice. In fact one of my favorite pieces of hers I never got to see but only heard about. In a gallery in Auckland she gave the people working there little stones and charms she made (often cast from things she'd found, coins and nails) to keep in their pockets during the exhibition. They'd take the charms home at night and bring them back, so they lived with them and they became part of the attendants' daily lives. That was her contribution, part of life, something so small so insignificant, it could be overlooked. She also makes stones for her friends to skip in ponds and rivers, oceans and even swimming pools. The stones, made out of porcelain, disappear swallowed by the water, and that brings up the question, what was the art? The rock? The moment? The friendship? Below is an image of Drew skipping on of Kate's stones on Fogo Island where I first met Kate.
You can read a PDF of the piece here.