Kim Faler’s work slows down time in an attempt to highlight the small moments—the intangibles—that exist around us. Central to this task are the multiple definitions of the word “present” —as a gift, a mental state, or a moment in time. To this end, Faler asks herself: “How can I pause the ‘now’? How can I open up a moment that appears to have dissolved into the past before we can see it in the present?” While she doesn’t offer precise answers, what she does provide in her exhibition You Don’t Know My Horizon, is the space for us to ask these questions alongside her, and redefine what “present” can mean. To reveal this slippage of time, Faler uses ephemeral materials, and confounds everyday forms we think we know. In this exhibition we see rocks, grape vines, water, architectural elements, plants, and dirt but in each instance these “knowns” are subverted. In The Wait, Faler presents us with a pile of rocks, objects we depend on to be sturdy. But instead she cast them in porcelain rendering them fragile and delicate in their precarious pile. While at the other end of the room, Sonder, a tangle/cloud of grape vines hangs from the ceiling. Here Faler enacts another opposition, taking the vines, something we readily discard, and transforming them into something lasting and tangible by plating them in metal. Both works cause a poetic double take.
Excuse Me and Either/Or, not only complicate our understanding of material, they shift notions of what we have come to expect from sculpture and drawing. For Excuse Me, Faler begins with aerial views of the frothy edge of an ocean tide, which she painstakingly redraws in graphite. These look like cross-sections of water and the metallic sheen of the graphite takes the ephemerality of a caught moment and embodies it within the drawings. In Either/Or, leaning sections of walls (with an inner landscape of house plants and dirt) contain surface patterns made of cast watercolor. By activating the sculpture—via water sprayed on the surface—Faler literally turns it into an act of drawing, with pigment dripping and pooling down to the floor.
In the end, all of these works coalesce, reminding us of the emotional residue that objects and spaces have on us, and presenting us with the gift of being present. You Don’t Know My Horizon investigates the dance we perform with ourselves on a daily basis—between making memories and our enduring ability to forget. The works in this exhibition sit between the tensions these two realities create.
Working with curator Denise Markonish and the Artpace team on this project has given me the time, space, and resources to freely wonder in the studio and produce work that I once thought was only destine to remain in my sketchbook. Over the course of the residency I was also lucky to problem solve my material curiosities and ask tiny specific questions to both Lily and Kim, and every step of the way their responses positively tilted the directions my work would take, leading me to a new place. The Artpace residency has not only helped me produce a new body of work but has given me increased confidence in my artistic queries and encourages me to continue to look deeper at memory, forgetting, and my own artistic practice.