A Developing Null
Smokestack Gallery, Hamilton Canada
Are we the protagonists or narrators or observers of our own existence? Does it continue
if we do not observe it? When we are absent, how do these voids influence the situation
left behind? A Developing Null is an attempt to express this paradox.
In his short story 'Wakefield' Nathaniel Hawthorne writes of a man who leaves his house
one morning and doesn’t return for twenty years, during which time he lives in a nearby
apartment. Observing his home and family from this vantage—his own life, now a narrative
of loss and grief defined by his lack of participation in it—he watches his wife engage
with the architectural space and objects within it. There is an analogy here with how we
are experiencing not only the lives of others today, but also our own lives.
Working from this combination of reference points, A Developing Null is a taxonomy of
everyday things—the objects with and through which life happens. Rendered by the contrast
between untouched paper surface and laser-etched removals, these common objects, stand-ins
for human presence, are themselves voids yet cast shadows and interact with the space
around them - David Trautrimas