Stain
Stain
in We Love to Kill What We Love
211 St. John St., London
2003
Stain is drawing on a wall not a drawing of a wall: an index rather than an icon. By scraping conte across the surface of the fabric, the texture of the wall is imprinted upon the fabric: protruding bits of the wall leave a black mark on the white ground of the fabric. Where the fabric is in close contact to the wall, the drawing looks like a high contrast, negative, black and white photograph; however, where there is no contact between the fabric and the wall, because some bits of the wall protrude or recede too much, there are grey areas, lacking any detail. These areas of absence are interruptions in the drawing, which are not easily reconciled with seeing the drawing as a picture. This process of drawing draws attention to those architectural features and fittings that protrude from the wall, whilst hiding those that recede. It turns an undifferentiated wall into a drawing with a foreground and a background. But at the same time as it draws attention to the wall, it covers it over. The wall can no longer be seen.

Since the drawing was made, the fabric has become stained by the damp in the wall behind it. The stains form letters which carry the message “you are not welcome here.” This group exhibition put art into a non-art space: a series of eccentric underground rooms, large and small. The space was rumoured to have had all sorts of uses, including having been a medieval prison. What was certain was that its architectural scale and peculiarities, as accumulated history, dwarfed the art plonked in it. Stain sought to side with the space against the art or to articulate the divisions within art that such an encounter brings to the fore.

Stain Text
you do not belong here

you cannot see
you do not understand
you cannot remember
the obscenity
the hatred
the suffering
you have made

you are not welcome here