The Resolution of Indecision

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Photo Courtesy of the Weatherspoon Art Museum, UNCG, 2014

Sometimes, drawings are made indirectly.

I collected ice melt during the project For The Time Being. I didn’t have the heart to throw it out, but I couldn’t decide what to do with it. I avoided making a decision, until months later, I noticed that all the water had evaporated, leaving behind a sepia-toned landscape within each cup.

In her essay titled “The Grasp of Totalizing Systems,” artist Camille Henrot states, “Totality makes sense only if it can be brought to human proportions, which is to say, held at hand.” But she later warns, “We should understand the violence inherent in defining reality by trying to grasp it, by manipulating things with our own hands and concepts. Grasping, as in comprehending or holding, is both sensual and violent.”

A paper cup, lowly and dispensable, is intimate with both our hands and our lips. It seems especially poetic, and appropriate, that each of these cups contains a glimpse into a handheld, but infinite, world.

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