If I remember correctly, in learning how to write, I learned to draw from memory. Look at the letter A – memorize it’s shape; look down – now draw it. Look back up – memorize. Good, now look back down – repeat. In ‘Essays’, Bay Area artist Colter Jacobsen mines this requisite minimal gap that always exists between a source and its trail: between brief studies on reflection and the immediate reflexivity those studies come to teach us. Several works – drawings, photographs, watercolours, and found objects – repeat and reflect each other throughout Callicoon’s space, signalling the various ways that memory ties art-making to epistemology: produce the original and try (essai) to produce it again. Ghost Wood (female flying figure-Tieppolo) depicts a connect-the-dots scene wherein one a cartoonish witch rides a broom. Her facial features are doubled, and yet the numbers follow a single linear trajectory: they go from 1 to 30; Jacobsen’s attempt at figuration is interrupted by the witches flight in this specific redoubling. Elsewhere, gthe artist’s attention turns back to language: in a series of watercolours, each titled NOW, tri-colour wheels are painted with wavy lines moving from the edge of the circle toward its centre. Here, drawing is conflated with writing; paying closer attention, the letters ‘N O W’ can be seen and read across each diametrical line.
-- Shiv Kotecha
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