Weave. Unravel. Burn. Engrave. Lift.
Horsehair, denim, parchment, wood.
Here is material, here a task.
Each focal point becomes a counterbalance
to the surrounding immensity.
Who are these people at these tasks?
They are attendants.
What are they doing?
They are present.
In what? I ask and no response.
In their work.
Because it is theirs to do,
because they are with it.
Inspired by some of the installations of Ann Hamilton, featuring attendants engaged in simple, repetitive tasks, which the artist sees as representative of the presence required of art.
I have heard of counting worlds in grains of sand, and the angels on the head of a pin, but Look. Notice this toucan smaller than a pencil tip, mouth open, the articulated wings, spreading. Attention to such detail, in this moment, is as an act of radical love. It began with a sense of awe, the artist explains, at the body of an insect. It was the magnificent fragility that moved her. There is no way to do this, she says, except by accepting the storm of tremors in the heart and hand, the sandstorm of breath against dust. Everything cracks on this scale, she says, and flies when you cut, and all you are doing is making and remaking, twig by twig.
Inspired by (and using found phrases from) Sara Barnes’ MyModernMet article “Artist Carves Impossibly Small Bird Sculptures You Need a Microscope To Fully Appreciate” about the work of Marie Cohydon.