On stepping away

It was upon stepping away to about six or seven feet from the drawing that both its voice and intent, or is invocation, became something concrete, or something approaching concrete by letting its content initiate something outside of its boundaries, less focused on its own making and its sense of hermetic fascination. The drawings coalesced into a painterly organization of form, not organized in a way that would initially bespeak productivity (in that they were arranged this way to produce something through their use), but if I can recall in a detached enough fashion, seemed to be messes in conflict or in contrast to, or idling gaseously over, a more Cartesian absolute, which in turn was corrupted by the mess or sometimes by a virus of its own, as if even the dependability of reference points that could transpose this mess into our world through analogy of scale or measure was at risk. Why? Of course all of these assertions could be the product of misreading; but what was to stop me? However, even in its apparent uselessness the vocabulary urged me to strain the content out of the drawing into my world via my/our old and tired techniques. At the same time, distance from the drawings placed me into another frame of reference, that of being in the room. No longer was my vision filled with this world of the drawing’s intricacies, it was in space, in the room with other drawings in the array collecting into my field of view. At this proximity, about as far from the walls as they were tall, the lower space created by their decapitation began to feel separate from the room entirely and became contingent on the vistas provided by the drawings. I lagged behind Leach, who had already been in the gallery and had possibly helped PK hang the show or at the very least conversed with him a bit. I wanted to have my own conversation but also have some space to reflect, to turn off my life and be in the moment. I spent my time moving toward and away from individual drawings as if I was on a tether. I moved slow, possibly intentionally shuffling my loafers and shrinking inside myself to create the daze I feel having just donated whole blood; my most lucid frame of mind, somewhat outside my body and far below the tree line of din that the clattering world screeches above. No other students came into the galley. It felt as if the entire building were empty. There were several types of drawings: glyphic field drawings as I think I have heard them referred to, conventional orthographic section drawings and perspectives, and landscape studies, not in the pictorial or pastoral representational sense, but the pursuit of texture, growth, scale, surface, and circumstance. I gravitated most to the glyphic field drawings which are the group that sticks with me and continues to pose questions to me as if I am sitting across from PK at his kitchen table. More than the rest they seem to have PK’s voice, his demeanor, pace, posture, from the measured words to the meticulous haircut. The architectural drawings, although idiosyncratic in their technique and spare invention still put something undeniable out as their mouthpiece, figurehead, gatekeeper: a building. PK was beyond them somewhere or before them, but always as the ventriloquist, which in a built building seems to me the inescapable role, or even the ‘correct’ role for the benefit of the occupant in terms of their relationship with the voice. ‘This is my body.’ It is the vocal cadaver, the chatty cadaver, it is not the architect’s imperative for the building to speak for him, but it is imperative that the building speak with the voice it is given. A drawing of a building rarely feels little more than a tool neither speaking with the voice of the building nor the kick of the silent baby in the womb. It is spilled seed or frozen egg. Why is it important for the drawing to speak? It isn’t necessarily, but I miss talking to PK.

Critical Response:

« | »