Saturday, April 23, 2011

Persistence of Vision

This is not science fiction; this artistic exchange between Carissa and Luca entails a number of lonely, unrequited inter-space plots, not exclusive to them and as old as the stars. The following collection of thoughts will certainly bias the work of Carissa over Luca’s. In a manner of speaking, Luca points to the sky; Carissa gazes.

From a Berlin-based residency, Luca investigates a repetitive silkscreen process, not based in the craft of pulling a clean black image across a white page, but in laying down the universe like a wrinkled sheet of ink. Everything is inscribed in reverse—nothingness is painted black, the white of the page is light. Upon approaching these 24” x 35” sheets of the compact core of Galaxy M87, the experience is distant and reminiscent of a pixilated snapshot of white noise. This is the origin image for an artistic collaboration, a transmission from Luca’s research days in video. From here, Carissa manipulates the cosmos.

“From here to there” is a collaborative gallery installation that showed at Mauve? during the month of November, 2010. On display were two bodies of work, side-by-side: a series of large format silkscreen prints of a named galaxy and a freestanding colonnade of white-framed letters to one’s self. Sometimes word, sometimes image, these single 8 ½” x 11” sheets share a digitally printed background of Messier 87, like a window in the room to an untouchable beyond. These pages are a private telescope through which passersby can study Carissa’s personal translation of the stars, and perhaps acknowledge their personal distance.

Carissa is a prolific collector of aphorisms, aphorisms swimming in a vast love-sickness. “While you are away” is a hand-written list, annotated, footnoted, asterisked, the order rerouted with arrows of “all the things I plan on doing to keep from thinking of you while you are away,” among them amending plural pronouns to assume singularity. This list grows into a conversation and lies across a window view of M87, with the same fatalistic ink wrinkles that obscure the clarity through Luca’s skyward silkscreen portal.

This particular strain of “away” is terminal. OK Cupid particulars, the erasure of an impossible and universally-faceless intimate rapport, and a stippled time-warp along a hand drawn timeline begins to measure when “I start to feel better.” These are all markers of a lingering, persistent longing that just begins to dissolve into dust. Songs from a satellite, from here to there, we never arrive.

Where does this leave us but in the embrace of two truths: we are not alone in the universe (by the very nature this is being read) and the universe will never reply. There is simply too much light, and we never stop looking.


Sabina Nieto. "Persistence of Vision." Rev. of From Here to There, artists Luca Antonucci and Carissa Potter. Mauve Journal Spring 2011: 16-17. Print.

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