Zero Knot

Art Statements, Art Basel
2010



In “Zero Knot,” an installation and publication, I examine the spectral figure of the monument – a memorial from the past that points towards its historic conception of a future.

The central object in his installation is, what appears to be, a saluting figure standing on a pedestal that is covered up with tarp. This hidden figure is reminiscent of controversial political statues of deposed leaders about to be taken down, or conversely, statues of political leaders yet to be inaugurated.

Like the mathematical zero knot, the monument can be seen as a cipher, simultaneously absent and present. After all, the word monument is derived from the word monere, “to remind,” already containing within it the fear of forgetting.

Likewise, the objects that surround this figure also vacillate between past and future, the body and the image. They lean against walls, resembling signboards discarded after a protest.

Attached to some of the leaning, mirrored surfaces are prints that selectively crop and reveal the hand gestures of political leaders and their statues. It is as if these amputated articulations of power fill in the gesture that we are unable to discern in the hidden, central figure. Screen-prints of knots, diagrammatic chalk drawings and spray paint interrupt our view of these prints as well as our own reflections on the mirrored surfaces.