This is the first folio by artist Jared Pappas-Kelley in an ongoing series of archival pigment prints. The series began as a reimagining of a conversation with Sylvère Lotringer speaking about Antonin Artaud that developed into the video and sound piece The Quiet Life and from exploring the experience of lockdown when the world became simultaneously smaller and more expanded. the collection examines the relation between location and meaning through an unpacking of recent projects by Pappas-Kelley such as the Wooden Portent paintings, Desperately Seeking Louden, and a trip to the Hearst Castle when he was researching his book Solvent Form.
- The folio consists of 10 archival pigment prints (27 cm x 35 cm) on high quality cotton rag paper.
- Each print is signed and hand numbered from a limited edition of 150.
- Shipped directly from the artist's atelier.
Print 1: “I have been thinking about how one moment finds parallels in another that does not necessarily resemble it. Desperately Seeking Louden was a video piece I made that is predominantly sound driven. I was interested in how one experience slips or rhymes into another and then began developing the images for this folio.”
Print 2: Wooden Portent 3 - “The eruption of Mt St Helens was one of my earliest memories: The plume rises heavily and abrupt, miles into the sky, bellows outward, erupting more black than grey with lightning strikes, and sifts to the ground in drifts, clogging everything it comes in contact with. It is dark, smothering and falls like silent snow as the cataclysm unfolds. It ushers an abrupt end of scene in its directness. Interrupts. Catastrophe is simultaneous and all at once. Oddly luminous in its dusk; heavily diaphanous as baroque fabrics in old paintings.”
Print 3: “These clouds and mountains are the Cascade Range from the last time I was flying into Washington State where I grew up before moving to the UK. I like how something very casual and sort of intimate (filming mountains from a plane window) became something more expansive and general about experience and place. And at the same time, it is clouds, mountains, speaking, repetition, and nothing more. The text was from a conversation that took place a few years ago in the Swiss Alps with Sylvère Lotringer and was vaguely about the artist Antonin Artaud. For me, the Alps visually rhymed with the experience of the Cascades back home and the conversation about Artaud shifted with our contemporary moment as well. This formed the video/audio piece The Quiet Life, which also became part of this print project.”
Print 4: Wooden Portent 7 - “Close one eye and open the other. Makes a third. When they see these gaps it comes together, but if they forget they essentially bracket it away. Games of self-preservation, but in the urge, there were also several doors that they keep locked tight at all times and never go into those parts as well. Whenever they walk past, it emits a low rustle of vacated space or the remoteness of closed off rooms.”
Print 5: “I don’t have many pictures of myself from my twenties. When I first finished university, I moved to San Diego as a sort of fresh start. Shortly after arriving, my car was stolen and it had been loaded up with all of my worldly possessions (oops). So many of the sentimental things like photos from that time just don’t exist and I was thinking about that and specific locations and times. The image of me was from when I first moved to Seattle and my friend Katie and I were staying at the Radio House (a punk house that was torn down shortly after this photo) and got our picture taken in an old automated photo booth at a bowling alley (we went there specifically for the photo booth). The background image is from the grounds of the Hearst Castle in California. When I was writing the book Solvent Form, we took a road trip there as part of my research with my partner, mother-in-law, and father-in-law. My father-in-law “Seal” drove the entire way and had been having health issues around that time, but a couple weeks later he was diagnosed with A.L.S. (motor neurone disease in the UK) and it ended up being one of the last times I spent time around him, so a lot of these memories and that experience have become bundled up together in many ways.”
Print 6: “The original video piece for this was built around a verbal tic and sputtering audio loop lifted from a Smiths song. In the song, a singer croons, “message received loud and clear” and it does not resemble a line from the film Who’s that Girl, but through mistaken identity Nikki Finn is asked as she enters a hospital: What is your husband’s name? “Louden – Louden what?” Retorting with the first thing coming to mind: “Clear.”
Print 7: Wooden Portent 34 - “What folds closed can also pleat open. What gives an envelope of sorts for something to be perceived can let it mist down like drizzle. At these times it doesn’t need to be cooped up and there is no need to be cautious. Left and right unfold like lampposts and the sparks illuminate what was previously difficult to see. Once you know it’s there, the container isn’t always needed.”
Print 8: “In The Quiet Life, it was originally just these vast clouds and somewhat sparse, but other times tight words, so the viewer isn’t given much to hang on to except the emerging of this other form and their experience of it. A lot of my work and writing lately has been about content coming to terms with a form that changes, and the installation was my way of trying to examine and resolve a number of these ideas into something tangible.”
Print 9: Wooden Portent 67 - “Roots are where energy is stored, but also what draws resources from below and transfers it into new growth. However, there are roots that rest just above the surface, in that they are not yet trunk and not hidden below the soil. They sit like knuckles flexing between the bits that pass away and process light and the bits that draw out moisture or minerals from what has decayed. They give tapered form to both of these impulses.”
Print 10: “In Rome we went to some church (to probably see a particular painting, but I don’t remember now) and upon entering, the church was closed for a private event, so I literally just popped my head in and took a snapshot of the dome. As I mentioned I don’t have many photos of myself, so the other image was something posted to social media by someone I knew. It’s interesting what turns up and I like how low quality or pixelated images like this tend to be. I think the original photo was taken at a coffee shop where I worked at the time in the Northwest (US) and if I remember, I had the flu and a fever, but had to go into work anyway—so one of the only photographs of me from that time, I was sick as a dog, but also that probably adds something to the image and it’s intriguing how all these images together overlap.”
Jared Pappas-Kelley is an artist and writer. His visual work has exhibited internationally at places such as San Francisco MoMA, Mass MoCA, Five Years in London, Islington Mill in UK, and Glasgow International as part of the National Review of Live Art. His recent book Solvent Form: Art and Destruction was published by Manchester University Press, his collection To Build a House that Never Ceased: Writings, Interviews, and Letters on Art was released in August of 2020, and his novel Stalking America is forthcoming in 2021.