lather&pave

There is nothing in nature comparable to soap. No stone is so modest nor, at the same time, so magnificent. To be frank, there is something adorable about its personality. Its behavior is inimitable. It begins with perfect reserve.

 

Soap displays at first perfect self-control, though more or less discreetly scented. Then, as soon as one occupies oneself with it, I won’t say fire, of course, but what magnificent élan! What utter enthusiasm in the gift of itself! What generosity! What volubility, almost inexhaustible, unimaginable!

One may, besides, soon be done with it, yet this adventure, this brief encounter leaves you—this is what it is sublime—with hands as clean as you’ve ever had.

 

Soap by Francis Ponge

Lather & Pave is a joint exhibition by Joanne Pang and Stephanie Jane Burt. Inquiring into the nature of rest and what it possibly entails, the artists dwell into the mundane nature of cleaning as a form of resistance.

 

Trivial cleaning chores which upkeep a home are often overlooked. An attempt at revisiting the phrase, ‘a woman’s work is never done’, the duo relook at the notion of house chores rendering common cleaning tools into non-functional items, defying the seemingly never ending routine of housework into an immobile cycle. 

 

Taking reference from a poem by Francis Ponge titled Soap, they relook at utilitarian objects and gestures that comprise everyday activities such as cleaning and washing and how it relates to notions of gravity, pauses and accumulation. 

 

The durable resilience of soap and asphalt, create a jarring contrast to the materials they are juxtaposed with. Through installation, sculpture and paintings, the artists negotiate the dualities of dry/wet, movement/stillness. horizontal/vertical by exploring tangent states of matter and being in the act of cleaning. The notion of rest is expanded by considering it more than just a duration of inactivity, but as a defiant solidification of moments anchored together.   

The exhibition is also an extension of On Rants and Monzoom Zchool as part of Beyond Repair under soft/wall/studs and supported by Proposals for Novel Ways of Being.