Fay Nicolson: P A R E
West Lane South presents P A R E, an exhibition of new works by Fay Nicolson.
P A R E is an absence that marks itself in the only way it can, by co-opting its opposite: that which is there. It is absence performing, over and over, facing the other way; an invisible avatar of the thing itself, an echo, a stutter or a repetition.
To strip and carve a pear is to reduce, attenuate; to take, remove, excavate, forget. The pear, abstracted, rots but the word, image, symbol, form, lingers and renews itself. The pear is sliced in two, at once doubled and halved, opened up, de-formed and rearranged, offered, a pair.
P A R E is an exercise in the practice of the not-there, the result of many performances, the ritual repetition of domestic action and mass production; it can be read by seeing through, or around, as silk drapes the space in two and paper is cut away by hand. Can divergent meaning and functions be brought into focus, stopped from moving, compressed into one surface?
A punch card declares presence by removal, a performative perforation in time. An absence becomes a doubling, a mirror, a representation; a dialogue between you and the material that frees you from the too-conscious.
Fay Nicolson explores links between art, education and documentation. She is fascinated by processes of learning and understanding; how meaning is generated, values are shared, knowledge is spread and information distributed. Repetition is a key process in Nicolson’s work that fluctuates between practice and production. On one hand, repeated actions filter into the world of mass production; of time-work, performed roles and surplus value. The other hand gestures towards the studio, as a traditional site for reflection and play, and the idea of repetition as an ameliorative process – the slow act of nurturing tacit knowledge – of understanding materials and processes through experience, rather than language. Nicolson’s works are often dragged through various processes, subjecting materials or moments to multiple translations to be read as objects, acts and records.
Fay Nicolson (born 1984, Derby) lives and works in London. She holds a BA in Fine Art from Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design (2006) and an MA in Fine Art from the Royal College of Art (2011). Recent exhibitions and performances include: WORK WITH MATERIAL, Künstlerhaus Wien, Vienna (2013); OPEN CUBE, White Cube, London (2013); Bad Signs, PLAZAPLAZA, London (2012); A Small Hiccup, (with Oliver Smith) Grand Union, Birmingham and The Newbridge Project, Newcastle (2013); Quantum Leap, Embassy Gallery, Edinburgh and Malmö Konsthall (2013); Lecture Performance, Overgaden Institute of Contemporary Art, Copenhagen (2013); An Artist, Unlearning, David Roberts Art Foundation, London (2013)
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