James Foster
The Black Hole Storybook
September 9 - October 7, 2018


I’m filling in the one map. One map that is a stack of maps, riddled with chutes and ladders, wormholes and ouroboroi. And I blame my parents for the presence of wizards and astronauts who haunt these environs. Wizards and astronauts taught me to travel through and under the original layout. I love latitudes and longitudes, a navigational grid of minutes and degrees, because the strength of this lattice is also its weakness. I know where the coverage is weakest, where the signal gets bad and I can hide and build.

My right-brain is science fiction; my left-brain is fantasy.

Jim and Elaine gave me Dr. Who and Gandalf. That gang sketched the outlines of an infinite continent I will demarcate until I wither. Who gave me the red telephone box. That most British of booths is a steel and glass enclosure anchored securely to the known, rooted to the intersection, a repeated/ disappearing icon. Encountering it embedded in PBS cathode-ray vision as a youth suggested a level of environmental ubiquity even an adolescent could discern. It hid in plain sight, until it didn’t. This conjoined the actual, the imagined, and the possible. Would my toybox do that if I climbed in and pulled the lid shut behind me? Will this leaking sliver of light break the spell? A child accepts givens, and a farcical premise can be instant gospel at age six years. I give thanks.

Maps are...not always what we pretend they are. They are malleable, emotional constructs that shift, constantly gaining and losing relevancy. Nothing is more dated than a map! They are more aspirational guides than documents of fact.  I mean I realize that maps are (less and less nowadays but still) used daily by the intrepid and idiotic both to reach destinations successfully, but the feeling a map conveys when in hand, even just folded under-arm while shielding the eyes from the sun, is one of potential. GPS doesn’t feel like potential; its calculated exactitude is merely comforting (if not claustrophobic and somewhat paranoia-inducing.) You are here and only here, and I can see you! A map, set to stun, is an offering up of worlds in an insanely egalitarian fashion. Why are we thrilled to seek the meanings in a place-name? It is to expand our sense of the known, to ingest wonderment. Verifying the existence of tenuous, rumored reality and making it personal is a splendid quest. Even if, maybe especially if, we started the rumor ourselves. Thanks Gandalf.

All of my work is in the stack. Held in mind, it is more Twombly than cartography. Scribbles and erasures and piles of stones my wife pocketed, marking points of interest. Maps of outer space I conjured whole overlap with Iceland; Middle Earth is Utah. I fill the booth with my claptrap and I go to the X. The crow flies there on acid. And Gandalf went to Spiral Jetty, and Fedexed a box of basalt chunks home to himself.

My mind fingers the stack. Another X appears at my touch and corrupts the known. Any core sample reveals one of those candles Richter painted, caught flickering.


James Foster (b. 1977) lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. He received his MFA in Sculpture from the Rhode Island School of Design and his BA from Vassar College. This is second solo exhibition at Bible.

For more information, including images, pricing and available works contact the gallery at info@bedandabible.com




Bible
19 Monroe Street
New York, NY 10002
bedandabible.com

 
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