You can tell I’m alive and well because I weep continuously.
Given that the average person, in a lifetime, sheds about 4,167.921 cubic inches of tears, and that I’m somewhere around 1/3 of the way through my life, then we can assume that, so far, I’ve shed about 1,373.034 cubic inches of tears.
Since water makes up 60% of a human body, and the volume of the average body is 5,064.97 cubic inches, then we know that the volume of water in an average human is 3,038.982 cubic inches.
And so, so far, in my lifetime, I’ve shed about 45.181% of my body’s water in tears.
Since tears are mostly water.
Let me see here.
— Steven Zultanski, Agony (2012)
Taking up the processes of formal alchemy that lie at the core of the book-length poem Agony by Steven Zultanski, You can tell I’m alive and well because I weep continuously. is an exhibition that traffics in transformative acts.
The show brings together the work of five artists whose techniques resonate with Agony’s provocative alchemical idiom: these artworks quantify bodily and affective features, apply logical and scientific reasoning to absurd ends, and manipulate the linkages between language and things. By placing the objects in calculated proximity to one another—and in relation to the connective tissue of Zultanski’s text—the exhibition format effects its own dynamic shift, conjuring poem-as-exhibition.
You can tell I’m alive and well because I weep continuously. invites viewers to inspect examples of morphed materiality within and between the elements on view, and thereby creates opportunities to consider the potential (and celebrate the futility) of giving stable form to ephemeral traits or experiences.