Submission
Paul DD Smith

Four feet in the morning, two feet at noon, three feet at night

A solo exhibition by Paul DD Smith in which the artist installs a new lamp sculpture that fills the space of Stroboskop (Warsaw, Poland).


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Four feet in the morning, two feet at noon, three feet at night, 2021, painted silk, acrylic on wood, cotton thread embroidery, steel, woven cable, twine, safety pins, light bulb, 242cm x 242cm x 215cm
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i.
[a birthday party]
one is never instructed in the game of sardines, but learns from carpet burns at the age of mimicry. this is not a story, but
a coping mechanism, a forced asymmetry. one person hides from sight and the rest run around, desperately seeking. as
each player finds the hiding spot, they must join in the hiding. the last one is the loser. bodies interlock to fit the silhouette
of a sofa or a garden shed. a confused mass of limbs like a teetering pangea. squirming, sweating, giggling, and her,
susanna. a bright, still room and time’s heavy hammer. show me how you walk backwards when you were aroused for the
first time.

ii.
[center of the universe]
two old men with rhyming hairlines,
rapping cringe over the millennia.
the world, their tablecloth,
their stained and optic regime –
eat, prey, lust.
everything’s on the menu
except for salty eel,
which they tie to their feet for
travel and to get closer.
hunched over the balustrade,
their greasy plastic bibs flutter
into the next scene.
they pretend not to notice
you pretend not to notice too.

iii.
[desktop>current>.pdf]
jesuit missionaries of the 17th century rush into the chinese palace.
klak! klak! klak! they startle the reflection pond.
a snow pear twists in suspicion.
so-called gifts were presented to the emperor and his court:
a chinese calendar rotated twice, revealing a small, cosmic doormat.
a bonus demonstration on how to position the toes like a wedge in time.
( -_-)旦~
an elevator pitch for a sacred, but uncharismatic house.
on the reverse side, a heavily disabled comment section.
( -_-)旦~
lastly, a small painting of a haloed mother and child, a maternal sigh frozen in time.
within the painting, the fact of a painted image.
( -_-)旦~
painting as virtual as a papercut.
the jesuits sang the merits of male cyclops vision,
praising rays of destruction issued from the eye.
the incense clock began to spit fssssst!
from fever, knowledge.
what are the consequences of human-centric images?
a debate over vitalism and moss for example.
‘impressive, sure, but violent’ was the official review.
the painting was eventually passed on by the emperor to his mother.
some call it the great re-gifting of 1606.

iv.
[19 m above sea level]
susanna.
growls through her teeth
when performing the
cantilever technique.
the sphinx who
wears a baby tee
lies across her
ankles, masterfully.
together they invent
a new geometry based
on complaints.
behind the world
was made of quicksand,
gurgling and unclassified:
– hurry, the temple insurance is about to expire
– open the faucet
– what’s a faucet?
– it’s you, it’s me, when we let everything inside, out
(the old estate is flooded, everything underwater – the kitchenette, the highway, the moon.)

v.
[nbc fantasy board meeting]
in the season finale of ’empire of yes’, a hollywood cruiseline veers off-course. in order to survive, real celebrities suck
suck-shaped lemons. major sponsors pull out. desire’s hips, stretched by the tide, loses signal. crying or winking, the stunt
doubles develop a life-saving genre. klink! into the cupholder. a small refund for every viewer.

Alison Yip

Lamps with various supports and painted silk shades have become a recurring form and motif in Paul DD Smith’s work. At Stroboskop, Smith presents a new lamp sculpture that fills the entire space, and, for the first time, invites the viewer to step inside of it. In making this space available, Smith evokes the tradition of the nineteenth century panorama, a hybrid of painting and architecture designed to create the unobstructed impression of a 360 degree view of a simulated environment. Smith uses this circular form of display to explore variations on the iconography of Susanna and the Elders, a story from the old testament in which a bathing female protagonist becomes subject to the voyeurism of two old men. The topic often has a double edged treatment, dramatizing the Elders’ voyeurism as obscene while offering Susanna’s naked body to the patron’s/viewer’s gaze. Rather than recreating this invasive gaze and the illusory panoptic principle of the traditional panorama, Smith’s lamp intends to frustrate a definitive reading of the scene and fixed interpretation of bodies. The semi-transparent material of the lampshade itself, made of painted and partially embroidered silk, questions the stability and placement of the image: is it inside or outside (inverse and obverse) or cast as shadows on the walls? The aim is for this instability to reflect a metamorphic and “chimerical” approach to figuration that resists an acquisitive and petrifying gaze.