This summer the awesome inspiring Kate Newby has a show up on Fogo Island (itself awesome and inspiring). I wrote an essay for her (the catalogue published by Sternberg Press), that talks about the point of art and the experience of it, whether or not the moment is in an object, an experience. Or, watching a pebble disappear into a frozen pond...
Here's the start of the essay. In the bit after this, I exhort the reader not to read any further and to tear up the page she's reading and cast it into the wind. Or water. Or both.
1. December 5, 2012: Kate Newby pulls a pebble from her pocket. The stone is green and smooth and feels fragile to touch. We’re on the edge of a frozen pond, in a place evocatively called “inland” to denote everything that isn’t by the sea. Next to me PJ Decker, a retired house painter and oil-rig worker, looks at the rock with amazement and perhaps some confusion. “Did you paint it?” he asks, assuming it’s a real rock, found on this island, Fogo Island, that is rocks on rock. He turns it over in his palm and passes it to me. I send it skimming across the ice. The pebble is, yes, painted. It’s been glazed and is not rock, not in the traditional sense, but porcelain, made by Kate and designed to be skipped in water. The rock bounces twice and disappears. How do you throw art into a pond and toss away this beautiful thing? But that’s the point, and after it’s gone, what is it? What was it? This fleeting moment, an action, a game, a thing made from rock thrown into the water, with no witnesses other than three people by a pond and a photo taken on an iPhone here in this place, this inland that sounds like a fairytale.
Or, maybe the point is the question, “Did you paint it?” Or the way I handle the rock gingerly because it’s art. Or that art is literally a throwaway moment that Kate’s repeated in waters around Manhattan and New Orleans, on Fogo Island and in New Zealand.
To Read further click on the link to Sternberg's site. The catalogue itself beautiful and Kate's work inspiring – radically slight so it asks for a reconsideration of art. And the world around us.