Risky Rhythm

September 18 – 30, 2014
Opening September 18, 7pm - 10pm

Exhibition Text by Danielle St-Amour


In earlier times the dyad disintegrated and fell into disorder, and no one was capable of unifying it. Thereupon the various assertions rose to power. In their discourse, all praised the past in order to disparage the present and embellished empty words to confuse the truth. Everyone cherished their own favorite school of learning and criticized what had been instituted by the authorities.

“Of course,” a colleague might say, all smug, “as when a cloth draped over an object takes the shape of the object.”

Linguistic pragmatics investigates the space between what is asked and what is given [is mary around, there is a white bike parked out front]. I am thinking, embellishment as a gift you give, embellishment as the cipher [mary’s bike is white, we both know that]. Is it a tool then, or is it everything, then? Robertson refers to Saussure, the movement of turning the page (signifier/signified), that gesture. I am thinking now that the relationship between semiotics and pragmatics as, respectively, the single sheet depicting signifier/signified and the mysterious process of turning it over. The latter is rhythmic; I would say it is everything. It feels right, but I can’t see through it…

Rhythm as evidence of covert information. Obfuscation of a direct relationship between two operators. A footprint. Traces, proof, confirmation. Corroboration. Something like this. Language is of course the main business, it is also a tool toward itself. Its efficacy both incontestable and indisputably broken.

But at present, transient shapefulness possesses a unified empire, has deregulated the distinctions of black and white, has now firmly established for you a position of precarious supremacy! And yet these independents, joining with each other, criticize the codes of movement and rhythm. They seek a reputation by discrediting their sovereignty; they appear superior by expressing contrary views, and they lead the lowly multitude in the spreading of slander. If such license is not prohibited, the sovereign power will decline above and partisan factions will form below.

We have difficulty believing that people were not aware of it from the very beginning.

Robertson’s phrase transient shapeliness: I am pulling it apart. What do you think? I am thinking about a cloth falling over a cup, taking on the shape of the cup. The magician’s trick where suddenly the cup is gone, the cloth still maintaining the shape. Of course the cloth takes on the shape of the object, as of course we expect it to, but maintaining it when the object is no longer there…

Of course, everybody hates a magician.

Of which a part is gift
which a part is byline to the mystery
which is mysterious
which is the reproductive exchange
is reproducing
moving back and forth
flipping over and entering the other
closed loop open loop
flat shape
self-consciously 2 dimensional

How does rhythm tie in? What is risky about rhythm? There is some implied risk there… Is embellishment the risk, is loss the risk or lack of opacity… Is loss the mystery? What do you do all day? Rhythm is the space where these conversations are held, the rhythm, nodding or nodding off. Desire, guilt and shame, all motivators, all detractors. All implicit in language. Language being the main business, being everything.

Your interlocutor suggests that all sheets in the archives be burned, rhythmically. All persons in the vicinity—except ourselves—in possession of past doctrines should take all to the local governors and have them indiscriminately burned! As they are each only single sheets this should not take long.

Now I am thinking, I may steal the thoughts of someone else. Of blood moving within the body during thought; a grounding concept. It feels good to be thinking and conscious of the movement of one’s blood at the same time. That work, the whole business, secretive and sure.

Footprints, seek them out. In transient shapeliness ends transient shapefulness. Oozing out. Oooozing about the place.

— Danielle St-Amour

About the Artists

Rosa Aiello is an artist and writer dealing with subjectivity, rationalist structures, and affective responses to capitalism. Her work has been shown at the The Modern Institute in Glasgow, Grand Century in New York, The Showroom in London, The New Museum, and Hadrian at Frutta Gallery in Rome. Her writing has been published in Art Papers, How to Sleep Faster Journal, and Utne Reader, among other publications. She completed her Masters in Contemporary Literature and Theory at Oxford University, received a Canada Council for the Arts grant 2013, Triple Canopy Project Commission 2013, and recently attended the Banff Research in Culture 2014 residency at the Banff Centre with Wendy Chun and Lauren Berlant.

Nadia Belerique constructs installations that engage with the poetics of perception and asks how images perform in contemporary culture. Primarily invested in questions around materiality and dematerialization through the illusion of photographs, her image-based works are often interrupted by sculptural objects. She received her MFA from the University of Guelph, and has recently exhibited at such venues as Narwhal, Daniel Faria Gallery, XPACE, The Drake Hotel, and Diaz Contemporary in Toronto. She is part of an upcoming group show at the Kunsthalle Wein, Vienna in October 2014.

Documentation by Yuula Benivolski