Zipora Fried

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T.H.,,, 2009 © Courtesy of the artist & On Stellar Rays
Zipora Fried

213 Bowery
New York, NY 10002
September 9th, 2009 - October 25th, 2009

east village/lower east side
Wednesday – Saturday, 10am-6pm; Sunday, noon –6pm


This exhibition presents portrait photographs, objects and drawings by Zipora Fried, displaying the artist’s practice of detachment from the obligation or facility to form language or function. The works instead preserve and politicize the irony, idolatry and emotion specific to the time of formation.

From a letter to the artist by João Ribas:


We have both come to think of hands as instruments of transcendence, the source of our entry into the symbolic. Are our hands not at the origin of self-consciousness (Tallis), of gesture and agency, of reaching out (towards others) and intention, of command and causation? Is it not through the hand---with its transformative, manipulative potential----and the traces it leaves, that the subject, if not nature itself, is radically reconceived, shaped into its own image?

The human hand lies at the origin of the labor that allows for the collective record of human difference to exist; for the making, moving, and repeating that transcends nature. What is at hand is what makes the world. Yet what of those things that seems so indifferent and accidental in their form, the products of nature, time, and chance that seem imperceptibly ‘unmade’, those very things between imagination and necessity that force us to admit that perhaps no hand can in fact have made this. Are these not the very things the human hand is always enticed to fashion or to mime as objects, and moreover to repeat; these things that seem out of the common order of perceptible phenomena always surrounding us, neither tool nor weapon, but some heteroclite thing that is only further exaggerated by our poor mimesis. In doing so, we come to see in such a thing---like that shell Valery writes about holding and turning between his fingers---some plan, some form, a purpose, as if through invention we could somehow grasp its place, its utility, its necessity, the need it somehow exists to appease, correct, or fulfill. Our labor—in these moments of repeating---only makes such things stranger, almost by a negative inversion; we craft, handle, and care for this thing. We know it, if in fact to make a thing is to know it, but it somehow grows ever stranger in our hands, despite have been made by us---some strange haecceity. Our hands: abutting metaphor and function, repeating, working meticulously by proceeding with an aim we think neither chance nor machine can fulfill. Our hands, indexing, repeating, doubling… Lucretius writes somewhere that if the hand is pressed underneath the eye the things we see appear to become doubled before us as we look at them, such that what is already before us can be doubled by the use of our hands. Must not something always slip away for the transcendence afforded by the human hand to exist---don’t our hands transcend precisely only in this deviation, by the very difference we perceive in such repetition, by the variance in imitation we want to call invention? What of those things, like that shell, that seem almost imperceptibly made, even when made by human hands? With such quiddity and purpose. So our hands cover up and inexplicably reveal; they trick the eye into disbelief, and simple gestures or things are transformed as if under frail utility lies some other metaphysic waiting to be forged out by hands…

João Ribas, 2009