Arts Pick: ambiguous separation

sock
Today’s arts pick is an extremely dark and haunting piece. The predominant theme of the installation is, of course, the angst of modern day isolation. By depicting a common article that is well-known as half of a pair, the artist ensures that his work immediately evokes a sense of ambiguous disconnection. The viewer is instantly drawn into the piece and compelled to explore its context.

How did the subject become separated from its match? Was it a voluntary parting, or was the pair forced apart by a power beyond its control? Was the split abrupt and unexpected, or was it gradual?

The artist deliberately leaves these questions unanswered, allowing the viewer to progress and contemplate the piece’s more troubling concepts. Though it is portrayed as proud and erect, stoically accepting an unpaired status, it’s painfully obvious that the subject is useless without its counterpart. Furthermore, the still image captures the scene at an unidentified moment in time, supplementing the overall mood of loneliness with a hint of perpetuity. How long has the subject been in its current abandoned state, and how much longer must it endure?

Until the subject is reunited with its match, this installation, brilliantly displayed in a dingy, subterranean gallery, will be showing in the Fairmount section of Philadelphia.

13 responses to “Arts Pick: ambiguous separation”

  1. Clair

    It’s a sock. The reason it is alone is because the dryer ate the other one. End of story.

  2. Becky

    You know, I work hard to write art reviews and educate the masses. Obviously, this will be harder than I thought.

  3. Becky

    And Clair…on a personal note…your certainty that the subject’s other half has been eaten is disturbing (to say the least). Have you considered seeking professional help?

  4. DCA

    Perhaps the subject fell victim to its own flexibility. When its relationship with its partner began, there were no constraints or defined roles; each easily took the other’s place, and they were happy that way. But eventually the partner came to see this flexibility as ambiguity, and this lack of definition–of a sense of place–became claustrophobic in its own way. Unable to express its needs and fears, our subject’s partner merely disappeared.

    Sadly, I think our subject will never again find its match. Sure, there are other abandoned souls (soles?) out there looking for a mate, but our subject knows that it will never truly belong with any of them. And our subject may even see another that reminds it of its lost partner and think that it belongs with this newcomer. But the latter will surely already have its own mate, and our subject merely risks entering a love triangle from which it will only be cast in the end.

    Perhaps sadder still, there are those soft hearts (I among them) who, while they think themselves compassionate, merely perpetuate this sad existence by giving those such as our subject the space and the time to continue brooding endlessly. Hell, I’ve got a whole drawer full of ’em.

  5. freddy

    What’s optimistic about this piece is that the sock does not have any holes in it. From this, I can derive that the relationship between the two socks was short-lived, causing little damage to the psyche. It is far worse a crime to get comfortable and become familiar and worn, and then abandon your mate.

  6. freddy

    perhaps maybe there is another castaway that might not match entirely, but might be similar enough to walk that road together. to the rest of the world, would anyone else even be able to notice that the two are not a perfect match? if there is harmony, does it matter?

    i’d like to believe that there’s not just one sock out there for all of us. life is a very long time, even for apparel. i would hope that if i were a sock, i’d be all full of patches and such before giving up hope for a comfortable fit.

  7. Anonymous

    Ummm, I hate to bring this up–but that sock is not proud and erect. It is prone and prostrate.

    However, in terms of finding a mate–surely it was produced in large quantities–and in today’s technological age, what should stop it from finding a match on the Internet? Lostsocks.com? (hmmm, maybe it’s time for me to start a website) eBay? Or, perhaps it should try one of the other online dating services we view with conflicting feelings.

    And as Freddy points out, why not just try another mate all together? One of the one’s in DCA’s drawers? Who says that mates have to match? (the last question is not necessarily rhetorical)

  8. Sassy J

    that last post was from me–I wasn’t trying to be anonymous–just in that midafternoon daze

  9. DCA

    “Who says that mates have to match?”

    Well, in the case of socks, my mom. Or is that too literal?

  10. Becky

    So wait…Sassy J wants to get in DCA’s drawers? We’re trying to have a discussion about fine art, people!

    I think Freddy has the right attitude. Clair and DCA’s mom–take note.

  11. DCA

    You bustin’ on my mom? Step back, woman.

    And it seemed like Sassy was trying to get Freddy into my drawers. He sounds like a nice guy, but talk about mismatched pairs!

  12. Clair

    I still say it is just a sock.

  13. DCA

    “I still say it is just a sock.”

    Philistine.