Hošek Contemporary is pleased to invite you to the opening of ‘• • — (I Am On Fire)‘, a light installation by Allyson Packer.
Distance used to be an obstacle. It was something we overcame to reach one another. We made ancient semaphores by lighting fires on mountaintops and laid an underwater telegraph cable across the Atlantic. We sought to eliminate our transmission delays and hasten our response times until, finally, we were successful. And then, of course, the immediacy of our presence to one another turned on us.
Now we manufacture a synthetic distance. We announce, to no one in particular, that we want to maintain healthy boundaries and create more space in our lives. We assign virtue to unreachability. And this all feels good, although it also feels terrible.
Sometimes we wonder if we’ll have any friends left when we get old. Other times, though less and less these days (or is it more and more?), we think we can still detect a sense of urgency in ourselves. Maybe in each other. Is it outrage or exhilaration? Is this emotion manufactured too? It’s difficult to say. We can’t always see things clearly from all the way out here, but it’s thrilling just to feel something.
In the International Code of Signals, the common language for emergency communication among seafaring vessels, two short flashes of light followed by one long flash (• • —) is recognised as a distress signal, translating to the message “I Am On Fire.” This signal will be broadcast after dark.
About the artist
Allyson Packer is an artist whose work considers our embodied relationship to a dematerializing world. Her work has been presented at Nahmad Projects (London), Ada X (Montreal), The University of the Arts Helsinki, The University of Barcelona, Microscope (New York), The Hyde Park Art Center (Chicago), as well as published in the Centre Pompidou’s Journal de l’Université d’été de la Bibliothèque Kandinsky. In 2022, she was a La Box Artist in Residence at the École Nationale Supérieure d’Art in Bourges, France. Forthcoming projects include the short film Chorós, made in collaboration with Jesse Fisher, and the publication SPECTRE, to be released by ENSA Bourges in 2023. Packer lives and works in New York.