Bryan has surrounded me with his shadow twins, reproductions, doppelgangers, and parallel universe narratives. There are choices, challenges and decisions at every stop and more importantly they come in pairs. Never identical, but so similar you know they are related. Like those brothers, Timmy and Tommy you can never seem to get straight. Written notes become dual commentary using my objects as subjects as well as props. A single light bulb hangs in my hallway, it’s origin debated between two opposing notes on each wall. My hula hoop and my bike lock become decisive red lipstick circles around job postings stuck to the wall.
Both the toilet and my little chair are partners in contemplative crime serving as perching posts for Bryan’s corresponding notes at eye level.
“They look so good together. It’s as if they were made to compliment one another.”
“They look so good together it’s almost like they were intended to go together made for each other.”
I couldn’t have said it better myself.
Are the notes observations amongst themselves of the chairs or are they practicing a bit of self reflection? Maybe the joke is on us? Or above us?
Traversing through the rest of the space I find elements of change. A cardboard recreation of the broken skateboard found on a walk. The forgery hangs along side the original inscribed as “This Thing”. I look up and taped to the wall is a sketched doppelganger of my grandfather labeling him “This Guy”.
My porch now a stage to chairs dressed as army officers. Two generals delegate over the latest map to come in while two officers in the corner have a closed mouth conversation.
Bourriaud states in his book PostProduction “To use an object it is necessarily to interpret it. To use a product is to betray its concept. To read, to view, to envision a work is to know how to divert it: use is an act of micropirating that constitutes postproduction. We never read a book the way its author would like us to.” Bryan has betrayed the use of my objects and added to the language of each. Channeling a bit of both Andy Warhol and Duchamp Bryan is decisive in his appropriations. He understands the boundaries of language and our entrapment in it but falls back on his solid sense of humor.
Coincidentally, over drinks with friends (including Bryan) after the installation the conversation turned toward the phenomenon of shadow twins and chimeraism. I’m going to go out on a limb and say it had something to do with mentioning my grandmother’s sixth finger, but who knows why.
Yep. Six. Right between her thumb and index finger on her right hand.
Not only that, but in 1933 she was written up in medical books for the treatment she received as a child for such a “deformity”. What I like the most about the story is how the rest of her life has been effected in such small/monumental ways. The doctors sewed her two “thumbs” together so instead having an extra finger she had no usable, apposable thumb. She uses her index and middle fingers on her right hand to do just about everything, think the toy dinosaur head grabber toys they have at Ocean City. Pretty amazing for a woman who raised 9 children. When i was younger it fascinated me and even to this day I hold the newspaper with my index and middle finger. That takes commitment, believe me.
I have created a jenga-like structure to define my grandmother and to pull out a piece from the bottom in order to reevaluate due to this new knowledge is unsettling as well as fascinating. The eleven year old in me visualizes her shadow twin trying to escape or rather, to avoid turning this into an Alien fantasy, what if my grandmother’s twin was just giving her the eternal thumbs up letting her know everything was going to be okay?
After the conversation I come home and examine Bryan’s pairings, my new collection of shadow twins. Singularly they carry one meaning, it is only in the context of the other we recognize the difference.