Published in 2015 on Whatspace
A CAT UNDER THE BLANKETS
To depict the world is to know it. Maybe this is what the artist does: in words, paint, images, and matter. But how does an artist decide what to visualise? Why do we see a certain image in this exhibition? And why in a particular form and format? And why is it presented this way and not otherwise?
A Cat Under the Blankets is an exhibition about depicting probable realities. Thus the title; it might be a cat hiding under the blanket, but one cannot be sure. The form might be elusive, but the slightest movement gives rise to certainty. When the cat creeps out from under the blanket, so does the truth. Until then, the bump could be anything. It might as well be our imagination that is brought to life by the sunlight and leafy shadows falling on a crumpled fabric. Maybe it’s a rat that snuck in through the basement window, or the neighbour’s escaped python. What exactly is it that lies beneath the blanket? Is it something, or nothing?
This doubt, or multiplicity of possibility, is contained in a single moment: the moment we look with uncertainty because we simultaneously experience different possibilities. Emotions stumble over one another: warmth, affection, insecurity, fear, and apprehension. For although there is one reality, its meaning is not fixed. ‘It seems like there are multiple realities that tilt upon a hinge,’ says Micha Patiniott: ‘I want to remain on the hinge.’ His subject is the sensory aspect of the painting. Patiniott shows how formal elements – material, composition, shadow, light, shape, and format – induce mutual relationships that either prove or debunk an image’s meaning. The latter is indicative of his and Just Quist’s commonality. A meeting between them becomes an ongoing dialogue full of recognition. Where Patiniott talks about ‘the hinge’, Quist, who is also a painter, looks for the ‘tipping point’, where space has no meaning yet, but must find a form. For Quist, the meaning is generated in the moment between making and finished object: both between the work’s visual elements and the work’s relationship to physical space. Quist seeks ‘a mentality of responding to emerging possibilities.’
In bo …