Curated by Tenaya Izu and Henry Murphy
Patrice Renee Washington
Identity has been co-opted as qualifier;
disavowment —an unattractive ultimatum.
TAILBONE takes for its central subject the concept of semantic satiation, the repetition of a word to the point that both its meaning and origins melts. We consider semantic satiation as a function in which trending and charged symbols, structures, philosophies, and phenomena are diluted through co-opted structural repetition, thereby rendering them impotent.
Semantic satiation as a psychological phenomenon is fleeting: the system drives itself toward stability and the status quo is restored. These artists ask us to rest in a place of instability, to think apart from the orthodoxy of languages and their logic systems. Perhaps in this state of dissolution is where the most [radical] potential for these symbols exists. The works interrogate points along the paths in, out from, and within this state.
If a place of dissolution is where we choose to begin, then meaning blooms beyond fixed points of signification. The base of our spines retains an echo.