Between Spaces: Jonathan Witzky and Katherine Rutecki
Artspace 304, Carbondale Community Arts, Carbondale, Illinois
To be between spaces indicates an interval, a pause or a break, before a new beginning. Space can relate to both place and time, time is the soul of space as space is the body of time. When we read between the lines – it is space that gives us a moment to ponder hidden meanings and possibilities. It is the breaks between the beats in Count Basie’s One O’Clock Jump that creates its atmosphere of excitement. The spaces are filled with potential. The void of space is full of mystery, dark matter and dark energies, that permeate all of existence. When we pay attention to the between spaces we find a dichotomous union between existence and possibility, between being and becoming.
The title of this exhibition refers to both the physical/geographical and the metaphysical understandings of the term between spaces. Time and space are seamless yet we create imaginary boundaries where none exist. The Between Spaces may be a border-link between conceptual boundaries of the spatial and psychic encounter of self and the unknown other. It may refer to the meeting between self and place, the aura of the intimate known or the mystery of the unfamiliar. Our spiritual geography is of deep importance here as we become aware of our boundaries, our ideas of self may shift as we interact both within and without the world.
Within Katherine Rutecki’s works there is an uneasy tension between expansion and contraction; as if that which restricts might also liberate. The space in Katherine Rutecki’s Box of Birds, is one of crushing confinement. In Katherine’s own words the piece presents “…a hypertrophy of birds, an amassing multitude of bodies, held forcibly and condensed down into a cube by unknown forces. The compressed, sunken, hard, inescapable feeling of heartache, that fills and bears down, and pulls from the inside, suspended within your chest, big and hard and heavy. The bodies of the birds swell out and the cosmic antimatter crush it back in, the heart has no room and each beat is strained and pained. The birds are silent, their sounds muted by the nothingness which condemns them.” In Cloud Extension, the restriction in Box of Birds finds its release as the birds have been set free, becoming a long white cloud.
Jon Witzky’s five large oil paintings presented in this exhibition seem to express the essence of place as refracted through the fragile nature of memory. They are inspired by the emotional and psychological resonance of space and time – the character of place. In these works, the spaces between become important, as both the positive and negative shapes come alive – to paraphrase Rilke; it is the moving space between that allows the trees to grow. These works may be thought of as existing in the liminal space between the mysterious and the familiar, the twilight of the magic hour or the moment between waking and sleep.