Friday, June 7, 2013
Molly Springfield is an artist I came across the last day of a show at Indianapolis Museum of Art on Sunday, titled "Graphite," a wonderful exhibit focusing on drawings made with, you guessed it, graphite. What a lucky find. Her work has a hermetically sealed innocence and intelligence to it that boggles your brain. In a suite of drawings of copy-machine pages, Springfield pulls together obsession and yearning for knowledge in a sleek, creepy package. The words are Proust's (from Swann's Way), the color and style from Xerox. Each drawing I saw is a simple, rigorous articulation. She turns words into objects with these pieces, replacing the beauty of Proust's prose with the method Proust used to express it. It's like falling in love with some one's clothes, not the person, which isn't as superficial as it sounds. The lusting after of intelligence, the need to consume and show what is being consumed, is what these drawings seem to represent, a sly comment on the luxury of reading without really reading. The cleverness is not in the joke being given to us here, but in the supple realization, the graphite drawing representing a copy, and the copy being the original text on which the drawing is based. A crazy conundrum pops up, and yet what's truly amazing is the quiet prayer emanating from Springfield's practice. These are pages of a secret Bible you don't have to read to comprehend. You just have to see. It's like a formalized dyslexia, the sumptuous nothingness language can become once you realize you don't need to know what's being relayed to understand the power of its inception.