'The Gilded Catalogue'

David Flaugher and Sophie Stone
January 28, 2017 - March 5, 2017

“I began the day hearing the voice trying to take on layers and speak about poetry and speak about prose and be a loose figure that people wanted to write about but no one wanted to be. The voice had all these responsibilities, but everyone was forgetting about it at the same time. You could write a poem that was the repurposing of another poem – a text that was perhaps found in a catalogue for farming equipment, that you lifted up and placed on a new page with your name on it – you could use tractors to show your thinking and wouldn’t have to say “I” and wouldn’t have to say “please” about anything. You wouldn’t say, “Please can I write the story of this light bisecting the room, where a person walks in and stands, not knowing what to do.” You’d just say something like, “Tractors la la la, thousands of dollars,” and write your name. Maybe erase it then rewrite it. Maybe change the typeface of your name. Make the font small. Add shadow to the third and sixth letters. You might write “Mr. So-and- So” instead of your name. But the voice was getting away from us. First it was everything and then it was nothing, though it was the same language we were using. We stopped talking about the poem as though someone were inside it, then we stopped talking about the poem altogether, or at least stopped expecting there to be a body relating to the poem, at risk. It seemed possible to say anything, especially if someone had said it before, and it was these words of that other person that we put in place of our voice. People were doing this then saying the word internet and waiting to hear a response. The response came: people had lunch; they found language everywhere. The menu said “Fries,” and this was taken, put on a page next to “Omaha,” punctuated by a date. We wanted to map instead of talk; we wanted to silence something and open something. There was so much detritus building up: it needed to be written; it needed to be used. Someone wanted to laugh at it. If you could find a space to laugh, then that voice inside you – the one that went “Please, can I” – that voice might lean back and read the newspaper. Time would go by, and structures would be laid on your name.”

- From Calamaties, by Renee Gladman, p. 85-86.


Sophie Stone, 'Gingham on Gingham' (2016), Canvas, cotton, and house paint


Sophie Stone, 'Double Runner' (2017), Cotton, acrylic, sisal, and house paint


David Flaugher, 'Thee Starry Night, after Velazquez 1889' (2017), Lottery tickets, acrylic and silver leaf on cardboard


David Flaugher, 'Voted Best Seafood by Macomb Daily, or Hudson Bay Toad' (2017), Watercolor, lottery tickets, silver leaf and graphite on cardboard


Sophie Stone, 'Pink Rust (Bundled)' (2016-2017), Cotton, acrylic, sisal, and house paint


Documentation by Patrick Harkin