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   Roomies, 2013







Contact, 2013

À Fleur de Peau I, 2013

À Fleur de Peau II, 2013
        

Roomies
Xpace
Toronto
November 22 - December 14, 2013


These concerns are sculptural: In a house made of glass there is a paper wall,
and on either side of the wall lives a roommate. In these close quarters the
roomies’ interactions are “just at the distance of the touch, that is, barely
touching the skin, à fleur de peau.“1 Distance and proximity have formed a
strange alloy; a conflation of outside and in, a neologism shared between
mutual aliens.
-jm

Xpace

        

Text by Nikki Woolsey:
For her exhibition Roomies, Jenine Marsh has created an installation for Xpace's Project
Space that evokes tension between dimensionality and surface. Distinctions between
interior and exterior, inhabitant and the inhabited are hazy.

Terracotta partitions cluster throughout the perimeter of the space. The surface
corrugation is echoed and amplified in the walls’ overall undulations. At once warming
and obscuring, this two-tiered pattern vibrates the space. Plywood spines fix the
cardboard in its wobbled state and at times these supports back into the room, conceding
a possibility for further shifts. At turns confronting and coy, these walls have disengaged
from architecture to act as backdrop, participant, and observer in the goings-on of the space.

A feeling of simultaneous construction and dismantling permeates. Walls are coaxed into
the room, while objects collapse into less space than they are accustomed. Materials that
favour surface are propped into a fuller dimension. Ordinarily voluptuous objects are
compelled into flatness. Flowers, once beckoning and open, are dried and shellacked into
pictoriality. Stacked and deflated terracotta pots languish on the floor like a distilled
incarnation of the ribbed structures that surround them. A pair of gloves performs a
mirrored self-portrait, showing the flipsides of gloveness.

        

Seams of construction are often frank, particularly in the plaster and plexiglass works that
face each other. They each bear an image of a plant that is sensed more than seen
outright. Their bookend configuration declares an earlier correspondence but despite this
starkness, an origin narrative remains slippery. Like charmed snakes, material identities
perform somewhere between coercion and willingness.

Through sidelong attempts at camouflage and emulation, the inhabitants of this space
mingle traits. Like roommates, they are not simply bodies sharing a space. They express a
confluence of behaviours and vibes, and adjust themselves in relation to each other. The
question of who brought what becomes contestable. We are in a zone of flexible
dimension, where the conditions for a settled existence are just out of reach.



Contact, 2013. Flowers, synthetic rubber, latex, spray paint.
À Fleur de Peau I, 2013. Plaster, acrylic.
À Fleur de Peau II, 2013. Pigmented latex, soil, plexiglass, brass doorknobs.
Installation: Latex, cardboard, wood.