Ellipsis invites you to listen, look, touch, taste, and pause—celebrating the senses and embracing a range of individual and collective experiences with art. The exhibition brings out unexpected variations in perception, interaction, and awareness, featuring works by Janet Cardiff, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Odilon Redon, Roman Ondák, John Bresland, Thylias Moss, and the debut of a commissioned work by John Lucas and Claudia Rankine, in addition to a rotating selection of works by Doris Salcedo, Jean (Hans) Arp, Ellsworth Kelly, Richard Serra, Gedi Sibony, and Mark Rothko.
In the main gallery, Janet Cardiff’s The Forty Part Motet channels the voices of forty choral singers into separate audio speakers; as listeners move through the space, the shape of the music varies from individual voices to a polyphonic confluence of sound. Elsewhere, visitors are encouraged to have their names inscribed directly onto the gallery wall for Roman Ondák’s performance Clockwork, which retains the written memory of those who take part in it. Felix Gonzalez-Torres’s “Untitled” (Placebo-Landscape-for Roni) presents a large sculpture comprised of hard candies that can be removed and eaten, depleting and dispersing the work over time.
The role of single artworks within a larger series is considered through Odilon Redon’s lithographic portfolio In the Dream, and a rotation of works by Doris Salcedo, Jean (Hans) Arp, Ellsworth Kelly, Richard Serra, Gedi Sibony, and Mark Rothko offers variable experiences of the exhibition through a series of unique pairings. Ellipsis also features a focused presentation of video poetry and essay that calls attention to the human body in a variety of sociocultural contexts, with works by Thylias Moss and John Bresland, as well as the inaugural presentation of a video by John Lucas and Claudia Rankine. Like the grammatical mark that inspires its title, Ellipsis encourages visitors to both draw connections and linger in the spaces between works, forging new relationships between art and its audiences.
"He hadn’t realised how many English meanings came from Greek compounds. For instance, the word ellipsis, he’d been told, could literally be translated as ‘to hide behind silence.’"
—Rachel Cusk, Outline: A Novel
"A conjunction is a creative act; it creates an infinite number of constellations that do not follow the lines of a pre-conceived pattern, or an embedded program."
—Franco “Bifo” Berardi, And: Phenomenology of the End
To be present with art takes time, encompassing not only our perception of the work as it appears before or around us, but also our memory of it, something that holds on after the encounter. In traversing Ellipsis, much like navigating a poem, sensations and fragments may overlay, intersect, accumulate, or coalesce. Variations of awareness flourish, each offering a situation of possibilities. We imagine Ellipsis as an invitation to be present, for you to draw connections where they are needed or desired, and to linger where there can be emptiness.
Across six installations, these works manifest both intellectually and phenomenologically, with/in the body. Experience is at once inseparable from the space and dependent upon duration, and throughout Ellipsis, threads and traces carry over from work to work, crossing into each other. At the entrance, a selection of artworks is installed on a rotating schedule, rendering them alternately present in and absent from the exhibition. Sounds of choral performance and breath emanate from the heart of the building. Your name and the time of day are inscribed on the gallery wall. Ten lithographs relay a shared dream. Citrus candy dissolves in your mouth as you cross a gallery threshold. The frames of video poems and essay intersect. The relationship between fragment and whole is iterated across these diverse contexts; time is stretched out and cycled.
Ellipsis is a kind of constellation that is continually made, erased, and retraced from your own set of perspectives. Like the form of punctuation that inspires its title, Ellipsis is connection and omission; it extends meaning through something unsaid. These works embrace a spectrum of physical senses, and by dwelling both with them and in the spaces between, we hope that you will find many points of convergence and divergence—a network of echoes that accumulate over time.
Tamara H. Schenkenberg
Kristin Fleischmann Brewer
Pulitzer Arts Foundation debuts new work by noted author Claudia Rankine and John Lucas
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The Forty Part Motet [excerpt] by Pulitzer Arts Foundation
Excerpt from "The Forty Part Motet (A reworking of “Spem in Alium," by Thomas Tallis, 1556)," courtesy of Janet Cardiff and Luhring Augustine, New York.