ďNo, she replied, you see I feel with my eyes and it does not make any difference to me what language I hear. I donít hear a language, I hear tones of voice and rhythms, but with my eyes I see words and sentences and there is for me only one language and that is english. One of the things that I have liked all these years is to be surrounded by people who know no english. It has left me more intensely alone with my eyes and my english.Ē
Excerpt from The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas by Gertrude Stein
The arrangements of words written by Gertrude Stein maintain individual meaning and identification while simultaneously leading a double life. One where tone and rhythm act as materials and build forms. In her work, it is not the appearance of a word that is significant, but the manner of its reappearance. She knocks words and sentences apart with brutal humor and flexibility, revealing an expanded field of conceptual possibilities. Her words manage to be simultaneously general and specific. Either seen on page or read aloud they are concrete and abstract. A concrete exactitude of perception butted right up against its resulting field of abstraction has greatly informed my approach to object making.
Objects that garner my interest have a double life. There is the life that everyone knows about; a life that is part of a collective knowledge regarding objects and materials. Therein lies unconsciously digested information about standard sizes, temperatures, weights, smells, surfaces, associations to various uses. That is the vernacular, inseparable from the object, fused to itís identity and material. What I am interested in is the friction, the small violence that is sparked when the accepted knowledge of the THING, rubs up against the actuality of the arrangement the thing now finds itself in: the sculpture. These points of friction serve as portals into an abstract headspace. My interest in materiality and the vernacular of materials is more accurately an interest in presence (and the present tense) versus Image. Within my sculptural works, the pictorial and the imagistic are used merely as a general, all-purpose tool; a convenient marker for where this friction takes place.