hi spirit, hi matter

Watch This Space ARI
8 Gap Rd, Alice Springs/Mparntwe, Northern Territory
Nov 11 - Dec 3

hi spirit

—you move me to puncture the air with a sensation

hi matter

—you are a consortium of cells that slant as they fall in with one another

dear all

—which is to say                 love


I’m charting a long drawn tendency, through the spirit and matter of things, to want to puncture any number of surfaces—paper, clay, the written page, my fingers, the inflammable and completely age-appropriate cycles of temper and boredom expressed by my five- and now two-year-old children—with negative space, silence, air. Pneuma as breath as to spirit. To perforate a given membrane means, all at once to injure, release surface tension, let light in; to rupture what was once seemingly solid.

I’d been reading Franz Kafka’s short posthumous story The Burrow (Der Bau) whilst burying paper in black Merri Creek clay on Wurundjeri land where I live whilst riding the sorrows of my grandfather’s enslaved time in stone and stitching; finding beauty in the fallen and dried remnants of the labours of native citrus gall wasps (Bruchophagus fellis) whilst tending to the seasonal fruits and habits of a newly acquired lemonade fruit tree. I’d been learning that the wasps produce lumpy, woody galls around their larvae on the branches that bear our citrus delights, all the while weakening the tree, creating little exit bore-holes and being rendered a pest. I took it upon myself to come at the activities of the wasps—as to the fortifying tendencies of Kafka’s unnamed and unidentified creature, as to the utilitarian and oppressive units of slavery, as to human beings living and reproducing in the world—from the angle of poetry as the wreckage as much as the will to creation.

hi spirit, hi matter, which is to say, love from all angles, which is to say love and all its discontents, where discontent is the reverse or not having of contents, contentment, being the rupturing of matter held together, restful and satisfied, inside a body.

I tussle the new vantage point of air rushing in and around things towards Lucy Lippard’s sensuous grid, hurtle it into relation with Anne Waldman’s antithesis reality, to see what soft new migrations we might discover amongst the wreckage of what was never even, actually, solid.

—Abbra Kotlarczyk, 2022


Aaron C. Carter
Abbra Kotlarczyk
Benjamin Woods
Beth Sometimes
Gabriel Curtin

Curated by Beth Sometimes

Abbra Kotlarczyk, Sensuous grid seeks antithesis reality, 2022
hand-perforated earth-impregnated and squeeze papers, tailor’s and children’s chalk, copic markers, acrylic polymer, starch paste, found citrus limon x reticulata, melaleuca (paperbark), pittosporum and Tasmanian oak, budding tape, steri-prune paint, beeswax, wire, shock cord and rope
dimensions variable
Images by Sara Maiorino, 2022.