Though a non-descript, signless space, bricked and fortified with bars, she looks soft inside, the toughness dropping away. Opened now—wide by hand—she's entered into with cautionary eagerness. Inside her arrangement appears fixed as if one mussed her carefully constructed visage it would be righted magically to how it began.
Her bare walls provide room for thoughts to bounce toward and from which to peel away. These thoughts lap down upon desks, huddled together, which rest waiting for a next visitor to shuffle through their laden surfaces, to make them useful once again. On top, books are aligned in columns, in rows, based on size; they defy a wish to see them cast about in decadent disarray. The chlorophylled pepper the décor with verdant and maroon bursts—a bit of nature here to offset a space of production there. An old-school telephone sits floor-bound, alone and forlorn in the corner. Unconnected, this phone works only in the telling, and this telling becomes its purpose.
Public Fiction, The Foreign Correspondent: Your Man in Los Angeles, 2013
Catalogs, from the Mountain School of Arts collection, await all who enter to behold; a library for loan on loan itself. These treasures of education are laid with edges in line as if trying to bring order to a messy thing called art. Each anticipates a touch with held breath, and sighs as bound sheaves are delicately opened and sifted through with graceful care. One’s eyes lovingly rest upon their pictures, stroking them as if they were exalted originals: a glimpse of cleavage and crotch; a ponderous, weighty formal sculpture; and at another turn a luscious, yet goofy painting. A tome contributed by someone known is read with human personality, and so turns the object(ive) and only to be found within into something to be understood both from context within and without.
A filing cabinet quietly beckons, orchestrated it seems, with a single drawer ajar leaving one to wonder if it’s an invitation to delve or a temptation. Why this drawer and not that drawer; why any drawer left open at all? Why is to make one think why after all. This drawer can’t be closed; it’s defying inclination; it seems as if it would resist altogether—it’s clear now that any closure disrupts a delicate balance here. For she is open, friendly, and embracing, allowing browsing without shyness, and everything she holds hinges on this drawer penetrable in its state of transition.
Public Fiction, Dispatch #1, 2013, comprised of Faits Divers; artwork by Bernard Piffaretti; Charlie white, Subject: Beatrice Davenport Morands, From: Charlie White; Andrew Berardini, Hue: Red, Shade: Maroon, Hex:#8000000, The Standard Book of Color. Courtesy Public Fiction.
Only a table is left disheveled—in process—littered with delectable scraps of paper, with dispatches and flirting inserts emerging from two-hued sheets and staple-bounds all waiting for lips to appreciate. Each, a juicy, montage-style installation of images and words upon pages transforms with this implied momentum from publication to exhibition. With these in hand, one takes companions, and thus little pieces of her, away.
One goes to suck in her richness and mull over with lolling tongue the sweet approach to experience she offers and in so doing leaves with a palate refreshed by her essence. Coming from within, one turns a last wistful eye towards her for she is that which is warm and inviting: she is Public Fiction.
Public Fiction’s current iteration “as an office, exhibition, publication, performance, and residency” runs through June 15. The Foreign Correspondent: Your Man in Los Angeles features Davide Balula, Neil Beloufa, Andrew Berardini, Isabelle Cornaro, Nikki Darling, Travis Diehl, Eve Fowler, Hedi El Kholti, Jonathan Lethem, Sarah Lehrer-Graiwer, Camille Henrot, Nicolas Garait, Rita Gonzalez, Veronica Gonzalez Pena, Brian Kennon, Joseph Mosconi, Aude Pariset, Bernard Piffaretti, Tif Sigfrids, Ivette Soler, Charlie White” and more. “Co-edited with Andrew Berardini,” weekly dispatches may be received when you sign up for Public Fiction’s e-newsletter.
This review was first published on April 25, 2013 on Kimberly Hahn's blog.