May 21, 5:14PM
Cara Despain contributes an enigmatic, stand-alone sculpture for “Words on Paper.” With a date and time stamp for a title, “May 21, 5:14pm” (concrete, 2016), the three pieces of cast wood hold the corner of the gallery like they hold a secret. The object looks ashen, impermanent, as though it might dissolve if its foam core base is infringed upon, but it actually stands solid as a monument. Perhaps a better descriptor would be: petrified memorial. The appeal to stop and transform time is a consistent factor in Despain’s practice. Even down to the writing contributed to the reading events for the exhibition, where she scripts her own cinema or isolates the gesture of a glance and unwinds and unpacks the moment into its molecular component parts or recounts each of seven lightning strikes that plagued Roy Sullivan’s life. Despain’s material interpretations and interruptions are transformations that linger in the memory, culled from and outside of time.
– Sara Ellen Fowler