Mortality in Plain Sight @ Collection Rert

Like this show, I have been crossing back and forth between a sensation of what happens/what matters as we age, as things change. What is the best way to leave your mark – to position yourself with respect and hope for the best in each moment or in its memory? Everything disappears. We leave behind connections and stories. A brutal way of confronting it is the observation of the inevitable – of death.  It’s a fact we avoid on some level, because to walk around always conscious of death, as much as it could be in ways inspiring, it is also loaded with a weight that is grim or at some point diminishes its returns.  I’m aware I’m posting this on the net – a factor that makes me wonder about where we reach each other – how it challenges the validity of a meaningful experience. Meaningful art. Meaningful lives. The meaningful reason we share things. For my purposes right now, my aging and creeping up on death, I am realizing strange things are afoot with where art has been pushed. It has been liberated by social media as much as it has been diffused and spread into intangible spaces.  Maybe it always has been and I am catching up. But something feels different, something is a forgone conclusion to people born into a world with digital connections. We want to share and leave our mark still. I feel the affects of this phenomenon in Jessica Nixon’s show at Rert. There’s a point being made of a ghost bike positioned in a gallery space. This isn’t some sly urinal in the gallery, a readymade observation from one hundred years ago. It is what it is. It is almost “not art”  in a self consciously positioned way,  serving as a reminder of the reason ghost bikes exist. Very direct. Photographs are blatantly thumbtacked to the walls. The thumbtacks struck me, there was a deliberate placement of the thumbtacks – or I wanted to believe this the case. It said to me this was about pushing you past the idea of marketable, pushing past the shallow version of being precious about something. The images themselves were of sites not consciously crafted, but nevertheless full of powerful emotions. The sites themselves, on roadsides, could be said to be places that slip between our own spaces in life.  We blow past them, unnoticed or at most lingered on in some passing way – not saying we don’t care. I speak for myself here, as I realize I don’t allow myself time to linger…

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