A temporary second life, or a s(t)imulation of one at least

Zachary Betts


artist statement

These forms, discovered lying between life and death, were rejected due to their expiration or failure to fulfill the everyday kind of remainder – defined by what is left over. These dumb things are found half in desperation and half in yearning for empathy. Yet still existing to carve out a new kind of intellectual space, to have another attempt at accessing an interaction they once had. Through these morsels of materials, I strive to conceal or reinvent their purpose, transforming the mundane into desirable. In some ways it allows for an object to have a temporary second life, or a s(t)imulation of one at least.

But one has to coat them, massage them into a way of being here. The amount of care that is present in the surface isn’t recognized at first – beautiful and delicate considerations that show it has been cared for or preserved quite nicely. So much that the forms have become unrecognizable – softened into a gross curvature. They appear ever fascinating yet ever harmless, though the staging or propping of these forms provides an unsettling reliance between parties. Soft vibrations float from one body to another, until both are co-opted into a partnership. There are behavioral patterns in this brief exchange that strive for a certain kind of participation. Not in the movement as such, but in an insinuation that everything might change suddenly, as though the work might undo itself. Becoming fascinated by the way that a work could at once be so still and yet charged with potential action.

Aiming to provide a sense of watching yourself from outside of yourself, provoked by an object. It is somehow dependent on you, and is intimately connected in some secret manner to your life. It is a life that we know and can’t accept – something outside the boundaries of what we are willing to accept about ourselves. In order to access this way of being, we need to separate ourselves from ourselves to be ourselves. So that all that remains for us, then, is to watch it in action, to speculate a bit on its methods, and, begin an audit of its gains and losses.