by Jae, September 27, 2010 2:32 PM
The Book of Beginnings and Endings begins with the perfect visual complement on its cover: an installation by Belgian artist Marcel Broodthaers. An egg is a literal, biological, and metaphorical beginning. But an eggshell is an ending; emptied of its typical function, it can only hope for the compost heap. Here though, we see eggshells — through a windowed cabinet, on a painted table — all broken, but some refashioned to look whole. The cabinet brims with them, the table has no surface free of them; the threat is that some eggshells will fall and break. Why is it scary that something broken should again break? What becomes the middle when the middle is gone? These are just two of the questions Jenny Boully's project forces to mind. Like the eggshell halves, these 36 essays/poems simulate intactness, but are comprised of the first page of a text and the last page of a separate text. Boully uses these sutures to explore her interest in form, intent, wholeness, and capacity (even when the notion of holding is entirely disrupted). Sometimes the seams are ridged and visible. Sometimes they're not. But Boully's overall objective is to bend the text until it is on the verge of breaking. Even when I felt it didn't work, I had to admit it did.