jenine marsh

   always with, 2017.

two door chimes, 2017

second chimera, 2017

always with
Stride Gallery, Calgary Canada
JUNE 2 — JULY 21, 2017

always with, 2017. Wall work: flowers, synthetic rubber, silver latex paint. Floor work: mis-cut keys, key rings, twist ties.
water strider, 2017. Blouse, air dry clay, acrylic varnish, ink.
two door chimes, 2017. Mis-cut keys, wire, twist ties, springs, string, hardware.
second chimera, 2017. Found windows; pigmented glass and lead, found bottle, tape.


It stands in the way, the creature, a familiar sight. It is always there, in the way.
It's a nearly-constant companion, in a nearly-constant state of apprehension. It looks
back at me with mild astonishment, for it is as different to me as I am to it. But its
strangeness is unlessened by looking.

I am fascinated by its body, which, being so like mine, elicits my shame and pride,
attraction and repulsion, and always some amount of surprise. It never looks how I
expect, how I remember or imagine it. Its body forms and deforms, from blueish watery
formlessness, to blackish erect rigidity. Muscle and fat ripple, and the bones move
right below a skin of transparent rubber and scaled leather. Its unseen anatomy
bewilders, known only through assumption and rumor. I know that its liver is in the
wrong place, on the other side. I wonder if this effects intoxication.

Our eyes meet with hesitation, so I let my gaze be medical, to analyze the way the eyes
are different at each meeting, the way they spark like static, like hate, like love. It
has the eyes of a child that hasn’t learned not to stare. I can’t meet its eyes like
those of a friend or even of a stranger of my own species, into which I'm quickly
absorbed, and which seem to disappear like words on a page when the text engrosses.
The creature’s eyes do not vanish. Instead of being absorbed in them, they reflect like
glass, returning my stare from some uncrossable distance.


Does anyone notice us? Is the drama of our insecure relationship on anyone’s minds but
ours? If we are noticed, we must appear to be friends or lovers, and yet in the next
moment we'd seem to be enemies. We flirt, strut, preen and show off for each other. We
turn our backs, we glare, shooting accusing and wounded glances. We accompany, we shadow,
we hound, we mock, we impersonate, we emulate; we try to be alike, we try to be different,
we try to change. But most often, and especially in public, we behave like strangers, or
like acquaintances who pretend to not see or recognize each other. Or, we remain silent
like an old married couple, who do not speak, do not need to. They act alone together. I
suppose this is all true with us.

Maybe it is loneliness that makes me think these things, these things we'll never speak
about. This is an intimacy I should be used to by now.

~by jenine marsh

~ always with is an exhibition of new sculptural works which engage the surface of the
body as a site of a contagious plurality and dis-orderly contact, with oneself and with