"I confess I am unable to interest myself in the beauty of a place if there are no people in it."
(Roland Barthes, "At Le Palace Tonight", Vogue Hommes, May 1978)
For his exhibition at Midway Contemporary Art, Nick Mauss applies to the exhibition space a process of drawing interrupted (and potentially overwhelmed) by its contradictory impulses.
White spaces pause and utterances collide in the transition from two to three dimensions, from anticipation and plan to full realization, from one invented language to another. The construction of a drawing from 2007 and several from this year emphasize the attempt to record process through obstruction, transparency, and suspended elements. Others appear as several simultaneous impulses in discord. The proliferation of strange detail is eclipsed by a sense that much has been taken away, that one is also looking at empty spaces. A reverse slide projection includes shifting words, a Skype conversation, and light shining through pierced colored gels.
This exhibition is constructed around holes. The unannounced reappearance of a circa 1939 antechamber (designed by the artist/ stage designer/ fashion illustrator/ inspirator / activator Christian Bérard for the display of perfumes) marks the transition from the first space to the third. Central to the exhibition, this room functions as a fissure in experience and a perforation of perception.