Leach and I

Leach and I regrouped towards the front of the gallery near the landscape selection. More than the field drawings these went flat behind the glass, and more than those other orthographic works, these pushed my stationpoint beyond the room, to the convergence of rays, and somewhat flat on the wall, shed a mysterious frontier at the glass by reaching out to other landscape or texture works (like?). I recall that these works were done as daily reflections or meditations on themes over periods of time. The format remained the same as the media and the objectives migrated. Perry would, at points during the school year, gingerly lay these wafting leaves across the concrete floor of the long gallery at SCIArc’s Marina Del Rey outpost. The student body was always energized by the impromptu divulgence. Because like the field drawings, regardless of their heroically inclusive and far-reaching aspirations, these were intensely personal works, born, I pictured, in ascetic mornings at a table, and being personal, and not ‘telling’ or ‘showing’ they were easily personal to us, or at least to the us who liked working with a lamp on, or the us that saw architecture, however foolishly, as not incubated in meetings or boardrooms, or through amortization tables and market studies, by the me who was in the gallery, but not who I had been a couple of hours previously. But that recollection of the works on the floor, lucky as I was to possess it, helped me sense what was different here in their display and how they differed in their actualization (as in self-actualization) from the field drawings. The success of these works was their development of surface (as?) and their capability of distancing the viewer. On the floor without glass they were able to do two things: without the glass become visually tactile including the withering ripples of aging or affected trace; they also by dint of the floor’s extent were lent to it, as drawings of a patchwork nature, in serial, they implied extent and used the floor more effectively than they could the monoliths of GWB in the UT gallery. Finally, their location five and some odd feet below my eyes on the floor of the long gallery perfected or coaxed forth their quality of extreme distance, not in the reductive theater of the orthographic which they approached on the wall, but in they themselves becoming perspectival where they were objects that were part of a scopic context. They weren’t vistas like the field drawings but Jeffersonian plats, blanks. Had I been forced somehow to view them on the wall in the extreme oblique I might have experienced the same soaring engagement, but the gallery context most firmly supported the field drawings and the vista allowed by their frontal presentation.
Of course this now, which is actually in Fort Worth a day later, in ink is actually the lobby of the Marriott Marquis in late November of that same year. The concrete of that experience breaks down a great deal over the months. It is a curing process in a sense but more through a reduction to some pure impenetrable kernels that are magnetized to further thoughts and reflections that come to them in the flow of composition. The original is pocked full of holes and air like foamy effluvia or wormeaten timber. But also the scritch scratch of my pen over the months of lunch hours in the hotel lobby wear away at the reality of my experience like a gigolo’s bedpost decays with his loss of essence. All meaning that it is impossible to know what I was experiencing at the time in the midst of those drawings. I wasn’t making notes, which I cannot do in that state of mind (see above, the experiential mindset) and all of these musings may be a product of that after-the-fact intellectual condensation. I need to just mention that, as it might color your perception of me from someone who lives in the poesis of his senses to a parvenu historian of my own life. But I think that it doesn’t matter. The realm over which all of these concerns have dominion is that of what we take away, those trace layers of impressions that fog into a diaphanous picture of what we’ve left behind. Indeed ‘the moment’ in relation to these constructions of art, architecture, drawing, etc. do not concern me. Those are the realm of function and technique. I am interested in how the moment becomes magnetic, what charges it, and what aspects of space or articulation most avail themselves to our baggage. Some of the most pristine or technically sophisticated buildings in the world I recall for their place in my memories: The Institut du Monde Arabe for its warm dappled light only as we drank mint tea out of glasses in the rain across the plaza from it, the Kimbell…

Critical Response:

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