at Feuilleton Los Angeles, July 2020
TIME BECOMING ART – DEVENIR DU TEMPS – OUT OF HER HANDS
by Rosanna Albertini
the printmaking process – Marfa 2017
and this is the printed piece:
Time itself, not the idea of it, brings these art pieces from a non-state to a presence, from the sculptor’s mind to a dusty, arid spread of the ground. I think the place sculpts her mind with smells and winds and infinite distances, her whole body could be altered, I don’t know, it happens to me in the desert. In this case, for sure, Kate Newby has asked the place to give her back the prize of her trust in a limitless space whose nocturnal life she can feel, rather than see.
Each art piece comes from a physical relationship with something living, in the air or in the ground, something that disappears as the sun rises. During the time it is exposed outdoors, the sensitive body of the flat metal is entrusted to whatever can happen around and on its surface. Animal life, likely.
Loneliness is its condition, along with freedom from instructions. Kate prepared the scene on the ground, the flat plate with bird seed around, some other food. Then left for one or two long days and nights. The art piece yet to be born is detached from her decisions, taste, or control. The physical little theater belongs to the desert, dwelling in a world without humans, and a population of things with no names as they have been consumed and transformed by rolling and drying. It is an anonymous field of existence.
Kate withdraws, avoids to be vigilant. Her awareness – a philosopher would call it consciousness – goes to sleep. Paradoxically, she flees into the fullness of the unknown. (thank you, generous Levinas)
After a day or two of rising suns history is written on the plate. Language? Impossible to decipher. Understanding is a vanishing effort. On each piece signs are different, Sparse little marks near the edges, and emptiness in the middle are the outcome of a big desert storm. The printed piece is proud of its clarity: a beginning is undeniably there, you can touch it.
The artist looks at the spectacle on display, she doesn’t need to draw attention to herself. “Life is impoverished, it looses in interest, when the highest stake in the game of living, life itself, may not be risked.” (SIGMUND FREUD) It doesn’t matter her life as an artist is at stake. The physical universe teems with wildlife, her plates are pregnant with traces of intelligent actions, surprisingly intense, formally well organized.
Their formation cannot be questioned, yet there is rhythm and precision in each set of ‘drawings?’
C’est là voir de la musique — There is a sight of music (VALERY)
A visual music following her own time. What about if Kate Newby is a bird, a unique species making her nest with pebbles. She doesn’t pick them up. She sculpts them and paints them, secret treasures for pockets. I can imagine her flying over Brooklyn in the night, looking for directions on her portable phone.
KATE NEWBY POCKETS WORKS, a project for writing, Portland, lumber room, 2019
Emmanuel Levinas, Le temps et l’autre, Paris, PUF, 1979
Sigmund Freud,”Thoughts from the Time on War and Death” 1915, quoted by Adam Phillips in Equals, Published by Basic Books ©Adam Phillis 2002,
Paul Valéry, L’homme et la coquille, Paris, Gallimard, 1937