Soft Logics

Soft Logics
New Work by Melina Bishop

February 9, 2017
507 E. Mercer Street

In the essay Folds, Fragments, Surfaces: Towards a Poetics of Cloth, Pennina Barnett writes:

“What if the poetics of cloth were composed of ‘soft logics’, modes of thought that twist and turn and stretch and fold? And in this movement new encounters were made, beyond the constraints of binaries? The binary offers two possibilities, ‘either/or’; ‘soft logics’ offer multiple possibilities. They are the realm of the “and/and”, where anything can happen. Binaries exclude; ‘soft logics’ are ‘to think without excluding’— yet one is not set against the other, (that would miss the point). And if ‘soft’ suggests an elastic surface, a tensile quality that yields to pressure, this is not a weakness; for ‘an object that gives in is actually stronger than one that resists, because it also permits the opportunity to be oneself in a new way.”

Using Barnett’s “soft logics” as a conceptual backbone, this body of work by Portland-based artist Melina Bishop seeks to compress the space between binaries such as flexible/structural, domestic/institutional, conceptual/formal, traditional/contemporary, personal/universal, discarding the “either/or” and adopting the “and/and.” Using handwoven and embroidered textiles made while on residency in Blönduós, Iceland in combination with found materials and traditional “fine-art” media, Soft Logics is a site-specific installation of sculptural forms and artifacts. It requests a stretching and folding of preconceptions and imposed limitations, and provides answers not to the question of “what is?” but “what could be?”

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