Without Images

The Relationship Without Images at POMO Arts


In The Relationship Without Images, Rosamunde Bordo presents the newest iteration of her ongoing project ‘the Denise File’ for the Ann Kitching Gallery at POMO Arts. In this exhibition, the artist responds to a cryptic and unusual love letter written on a postcard (and that has no return address) by creating an installation of sculptures and narrative objects that decode, propose, invent, or interpret possible latent meaning in the letter. The found postcard is addressed to Denise, to whom the writer, who is known only as John, declares to her that she is “the world” and that he wants to have “a relationship without images.”

The idea of a love letter written on a postcard is itself puzzling, since postcards are never private. Reflecting on the public-private nature of the postcard, Bordo turns the gallery space into an intimate domestic space, in which the viewer is also voyeur. Fragments of images and text, including John’s love letter, as well as speculations as to whether it is a romance, are projected through the linen weave of a changing screen. Bordo imagines a love-triangle between artist, subject, and object, and yet these figures continuously shift roles.

For Bordo, both the acts of learning and of creation are also acts of uncovering. For this exhibition, she undertook new material research including woodworking and joinery, woodturning, natural dyeing, knitting, felting, and lapidary. Materials were carefully selected for their physical as well as metaphysical properties. Through learning to work in new ways with her hands, Bordo further uncovers and reveals aspects of the elusive Denise who continues to emerge through tactile forms. The sculptures bring physical form to an idea, and tactility and presence to the absentee.

What does a relationship without images mean? Bordo says, “At first glance, it appears to be solely about unrequited love, romantic relationships and sexual desire, however on closer inspection it’s clear that this relationship is also metaphorical. Meaning is only possible relationally, and desire is a complex engine for change in the world.” Longing and desire fuel her sculptural practice, as the desire to learn and to create is to participate in the emergence of the unknown. 

photography by Sol Hashemi

                                                           The Relationship Without Images Feature, 2023, duration: 7 min 20 sec, loop.

The Denise File