SEPTEMBER presents Tiny Things, an exhibition of sculpture and photography, opening Saturday, February 1, 2020. Artists included are Susan Collis, Nina Katchadourian, Kate Newby, Liliana Porter, Zoë Sheehan Saldaña, Barb Smith, Julianne Swartz, and Stefanie Victor.
The overall impact of Tiny Things will be a slow reveal, rewarding close attention and quiet engagement. Many of the works will not be discernible, or even visible from afar, requiring a close approach to achieve focus, or to discover their presence at all: a miniature figurine, a loose matchstick, a solitary screw. Things that hide in plain sight.
At a glance, many of the objects seem found and commonplace. With closer observation, they are revealed to be painstakingly made or transformed: pebbles are glazed ceramic, a nail head is black diamond, a loop of twine is hand-twisted, a soda tab is sterling silver, and a spider web is partially reconstructed with red thread. Things that stand in a liminal state.
Within some of the works, smallness exists not as the thing itself, but through our perception of things. Subjects appear diminutive via the aid of distance and an altered perspective: tiny humans are reflected in a shard of mirror grasped in the palm of a hand, trees and buildings are shrunken and inverted through a window lens. Other works draw attention not to perception, but to imperceptibility, or the small invisible space between matter: a narrow crack in the floor, magnetized air, hollow portals.
All of the works in Tiny Things exist within a kind of non-space: white background, white canvas, white shelves, white walls, within the white box of the gallery. Here we have an erasure of the extraneous, a tolerance for creating space in between things. Each sui generis object or cluster of objects occupies an individual shelf, a lone wall expanse, or a hidden pocket. Likewise, the process of each artist is singular and self-reliant, often utilizing her own hands- and sometimes her teeth.
Tiny Things is an antidote to over-stimulation, a counterbalance to forceful ways of communicating. It is a witness to the work of artists who engage unobtrusively and consciously within the world, introducing us to the value of attentiveness, attuning us to the overlooked and rewarding us with the unexpected. It is a silent demonstration.
“I hope…..to make us consider once again, and with greater attention, that which we thought we knew.” – Zöe Sheehan Saldaña