Sara Morawetz in 2019

Principia
06.12. - 22.12.2019

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Dominik Mersch Gallery, Sara Morawetz ‘Metric Units for the Solar System [Metric Schematic]’, 2019, cut vinyl, 14m long

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  1. principia:
    noun, pl.
    Latin, meaning: first principles; fundamental beginnings; elements
    see also:
    Isaac Newton’s Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica
    2653 Principia, an asteroid named after Newton’s work, astronaut Tim Peake’s mission as part of the Expedition 46 crew of the ISS

The word ‘experiment’ brings to mind a vision of bespectacled whitecoats in a laboratory, whereas ‘experimentation’ conjures an artist tipping over paint cans in a paroxysm of intuition. For the exhibition Principia, Sara Morawetz pushes against this binary, instead exposing the creativity inherent in scientific discovery, and the systems and metrics contained within artistic practice. Indeed, in choosing a title so often associated with mathematics, Sara signals her desire to bring the systems of science—the experiment, the hypothesis, the test—into the gallery space. The result is a body of work that sits between these two realms, a space where ideas are formulated, weighed, revisited, and reformulated again.

If you were to ask for a single word to describe Sara’s practice, I would suggest ongoingness. The framing of the work is one that bends. Her works unfold as her practice unfolds. And although they are separate from one another, they also stem from the same idea—to test the principles of measurement. (In conducting these tests, Sara reveals how the units we take to be rigid and true are the opposite: they are movable, personal, and not without doubt.) Just as you can draw a timeline that charts the changing hypotheses from Galileo to Newton, so too can you draw a thread between each of Sara’s iterations.

Know that each work has a multiple self, a sister, a cousin. Know that each has its own latitude and longitude on a larger map.

Click here to read the full accompanying essay by Naomi Riddle


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