A light in the moon the only light is on Sunday. What was the sensible decision. The sensible decision was that notwithstanding many declarations and more music, not even notwithstanding the choice and a torch and a collection, notwithstanding the celebrating hat and a vacation and even more noise than cutting, notwithstanding Europe and Asia and being overbearing, not even notwithstanding an elephant and a strict occasion, not even withstanding more cultivation and some seasoning, not even with drowning and with the ocean being encircling, not even with more likeness and any cloud, not even with terrific sacrifice of pedestrianism and a special resolution, not even more likely to be pleasing. The care with which the rain is wrong and the green is wrong and the white is wrong, the care with which there is a chair and plenty of breathing. The care with which there is incredible justice and likeness, all this makes a magnificent asparagus, and also a fountain.
—From Tender Buttons (1914) by Gertrude Stein
Vicki Sher’s exhibition takes its title from the last word of Gertrude Stein’s Tender Buttons. In this final paragraph of the book, Stein’s typically inscrutable prose seems to describe a world where everything’s all wrong. Declarations are wrong, current events are wrong, Europe and Asia, and green are wrong, oceans are circling an unsettling landscape of problems big and small, intimate and worldly. But then, in the end, there is hope in Nature. There is the absurd and remarkable existence of asparagus, and the continual human desire to shape Nature for our own experience of joy (a fountain). What is bigger than current events is Nature (and Beauty, color and shape), and that is the last word. FOUNTAIN features one large scale installation collage entitled “A Day in The Life of the Moon”, and smaller works on drafting film, that use a language of geometric shapes to describe the feeling of being in nature.