Artist: Edith Deyerling
Venue: Meyer Kainer, Vienna
Exhibition Title: tempt me blue
Date: May 5 – June 13, 2020
Full gallery of images, press release and link available after the jump.
Images courtesy of Meyer Kainer, Vienna
Upon awakening only fragments of a fading, disappearing dream remain, images and voices are already lost. Who is this I, and what is this ego that speaks, writes, paints, thinks, if not always with one foot in another’s shoe? An ego lets the words slip out slowly as the breath leaves the mouth. Edith’s pictures, Edith, Edith, the air rubs along the surface of the tongue, which curves slightly under the palate. The lips are a bit tight; if the lips relax, the breath only hits the tip of the tongue. Repeating and repeating the same thing, the meaning shifts slightly through the infinitesimal discrepancies of the unvarying: Edith, edith, edit, edith-ing. The ego edit(h)s the elliptical and fragmented words and sentences. The text tries to follow the thoughts that seek to put into words the contradiction between simultaneous abstraction and concretion— but how does a contradiction present itself other than through itself?
Edith Deyerling’s approach to painting is a door that she has painted herself. The bell on this door reads ‘Edith Deyerling.’ Edith rings Edith’s doorbell, sometimes there is only a door but no bell, sometimes a bell without a door, and sometimes Edith opens the door. The paintings produce rather than imitate; they reflect not reality but the impossibility of its representation. It is therefore not the truth of the representational reality that is of interest, but the changes in the representation of the perceivable. The familiar slowly fades away, contours blur, and the world slowly disappears from view. Abstraction is an effect of affect—it is not pure, nor does reduction offer a universality that extends beyond body, time, and space.
Edith’s paintings circle and close in upon a concrete here and now, that only listens to, belongs to, obeys her, and yet only exists in exchange, connection, and contact with an outside, an other, an imagined somebody. This is a form of abstraction different from a virile modernism striving for essence and universal validity, whose pretense to universality verges on the ridiculous and thereby leaves no room for humor or contradiction. But isn’t the claim of universality itself a joke—to assert a language that everyone can understand, when the individual subject seems unable to know or understand her own speech? And is a language spoken by just one person still a language? An abstraction without hierarchy, without hegemony, without pretense to readability. It moves not toward the general, but rather in the opposite direction. Edith’s paintings translate the abstraction of experience into the abstraction of its representation. Almost like a story told in an unfamiliar language, in which the unfamiliar sounds grow concrete and a new narrative unfolds in their rhythm and melody.
The question of representation is a theoretical, aesthetic, ethical one concerning the situatedness of the speaking, perceiving, thinking subject—everything is reflected back upon itself. There seems to be no possibility to express something that could be understood by another, because everyone stays within her own situatedness. One must therefore recognize situatedness itself as something that is always dependent on an externality, open to an other and at the same time standing by and in difference to oneself. The mapping of the imagination, of coincidences and simultaneities, preserves an idiosyncrasy of thought, which, in its ephemeral existence, is always in the process of evaporating. The sun is reflected in the windows of the building out back and falls upon the table. Diffraction is a mapping of interference, not a repetition, reflection, or reproduction. A diffraction pattern does not map the location of difference, but the effects of difference. Diffraction does not have a fixed pattern, rather it is a repetitive reconfiguration of interlocking patterns. It is of the moment; there is no absolute separation of here and now—nothing is new, nothing is not new. In a permanent state of constant displacement there is no binary difference.
One can only stand exactly where one is. The body does not lie; language is the body and in its positivity there are no lies because everything is real. Meaning is physical and the body does not exist independent of meaning. Indeterminacy is not a state, but a movement that effects the continual return of that which has been excluded. Space and time are constantly being reconfigured, they do not exist outside of a specific moment, their validity is not universal, but exist only in the specificity of the moment of personal experience. Edith’s paintings cavort around the thrones of supposed great masters, laughing in the face of the idea of genius. They are abstract as well as concrete in their exuberance and their almost inconspicuous smallness, and, hidden in the tiny gap in between, are laughing at themselves—for what is an ego in view of an infinitude of impossible possibilities?
written with the voices of Kathy Acker, Karen Barad, Kazimir Malevich by Bellu&Bellu