Babble On

A collaborative project by
Laurie Kang, Nadia Belerique, and Lili Huston-Herterich

Topless, New York, NY

July 2 - July 17, 2016

Dear ---,

Hi - it's been some time, I hope you remember me. We first met at the pavilion where we accidentally rubbed shoulders. I saw you through slivers of light as we walked amidst the living walls of that labyrinthine space. I watched your feet as you wandered, and saw you carve an inscription into the wall, was it your name? Eventually we joined hands to greet, exchanging some of the lingering green dust that remained on our fingers. I carried around a trace of you and it the est of that day. Mixed matter.

This morning in the privacy of my kitchen I squeezed a lemon into a glass of water and remembered you.

We're not strangers anymore, though I feel vulnerable writing to you. I'd like to see you again…will you meet me at the fountain? We won't be alone, if you wish for sensory sensations that might make this less awkward. The trickling water should calm, though I’ll always wonder if we might witness a flood, a trickle turned overflow.

Once there we'll decide what's next, it's really just a place between spaces.



Topless presents Babble On, a project commissioned by the gallery, and the second collaborative installation by Nadia Belerique, Lili Huston-Herterich and Laurie Kang. For their first collaboration, The Mouth Holds the Tongue at The Power Plant Gallery in Toronto, the artists re-imagined an iconic sculpture pavilion by Aldo Van Eyck. Their re-creation flipped the space in multiple ways, inverting hierarchies of material and space. There was no replication of the original modernist sculptures housed by the pavilion. The walls were constructed entirely of floral foam, a craft-based synthetic material for floral arrangements; its sensitive surface denies objectivity as it is easily marked by intentioned and unintentioned interactions. The inscriptions grew exponentially over the course of the exhibition by visitors to the space, markedly changing the installation’s appearance. The space was flipped upside down to conjure a recalibration of body; the lights were on the floor as a lit grid, the maze-like walls suspended above from from the ceiling. Metal sculptures resembling fruit dwelled in and around the space suggesting new metabolizations.

Babble On will be a site-responsive installation, once again utilizing floral foam. The artists will re-create a fountain-cum-well with benches for sitting, talking and observing. The installation will again bear the marks of its sitters and visitors with an additional sound element via the fountain’s spout, using the water directly from Rockaway Beach. Babble On is a space for no answers, a facilitation of intimacies, negotiations and friendships in the making. The title playfully extends its first iteration, suggesting the artists’ continued babblings on collaboration as ongoing experiment, embodiment of space and material sensitivity.

The artists wish to thank Smithers Oasis Foams for their sponsorship in this exhibition.