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EMMA SHARPE – ASSEMBLY

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When I was fourteen I followed my mom to an energy healer. It was her first appointment and I sat in while they spoke. I remember the healer describing a “gift,” as she called it: the ability to bring together and hold seemingly disparate things. This was something to aspire to. I see now that the word “hold” was important, rather than “bind,” as these elements—ones that at first glance seem to have nothing to do with each other—aren’t fixed. Rather, they vibrate in relation to each other, their connections elastic, squishy, malleable. In my head I pictured someone cupping their arms as if to embrace a beach ball, their hands gently corralling a group of floating objects. She apologized for being vague; it wasn’t a particularly seductive concept for a teenager to grasp. But she emphasized the agility needed to do such a seemingly intangible task with grace.

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Now, this “gift” makes more sense to me. It makes sense when I look at your work. I imagine each of you has a floating pool of bits and parts, expertly tended to, expertly kept. I imagine this archive follows you around from day to day and year to year. I remember the healer describing her process: like submerging deeper and deeper into a river, as she called it. Each strata offering a new perspective into someone’s energetic makeup. There’s this flow. And the river is the container for all of its constituent parts. 

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To extend the metaphor—I’m thinking—what if each of you had some special type of glue on your fingers as you worked? It would stretch like a piece of slime as you retrieve items from your pool, leaving a thin yet unbroken line between what you touch and your body. What if we could see the sinews of your archive’s many parts, their sources and referents—the sticky tendrils tracking their travels. It would spin a complex web of correspondences. I wonder if the healer would get stuck in a web like that, or if, like an evidence board, lines could be followed, delineating clear routes and patterns.

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So when, then, do several individual parts become a “piece”? The constant movement of your work, the flow, can dissolve that distinction between a sketch and a final product. I like this idea of floating. It seems to me as if you’re framing a passing moment rather than sealing a rigid final product. It’s a stop along a timeline, but not a linear one. Instead, the energetic reverberations—the kind that the healer could step into and read—expand outward. They bloat, shimmy and cascade from each assembly you present. Maybe if something is never fixed, it never has to end.  

EMMA SHARPE — ASSEMBLY