We are in the Word World.
German polymath Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (1646 - 1716) said of music, “Music is the pleasure the human mind experiences from counting without being aware that it is counting”, as counting is minor to the rise of form in all of its loving devotion.
There is a constant cause outside of us, a basic or original substance. According to Leibniz, the monad holds the potential of all things within it–including prolonged transitory points which eventually must terminate in the culmination of the tetrad (silence, action [inaction], love, and creation ). Magnificent Obsession, an exhibition of new sculptures by Kylie White, contains those four points.
The monad is thought to be both matrix and matter, of obscurity and darkness, because it is chaos which gives rise to all forms, both male and female at once. Situated in the center and manner of the heart, the monad is simultaneously the craftsman and what is crafted, passing from providence to actuality. The manner of the heart being an intuition from which form arises with minimal conceptual impedance.
The monad can be imagined as a point in a vacuum; these points exist in 0-1 dimensions. In a similar manner to the inert vessels historically used in preserving essential documents, each of Kylie White’s monad sculptures, (titled By Which), contain an arrowhead encapsulated in an ampule of argon, encompassing the potential of form and creation, insulated from contemporary preoccupations with language, dialectics, and discourses; as well as the destructive effect the atmosphere has on the material of the arrowhead itself. The radiance of the monads casts a violet luminescence, as the argon is electrified into a plasma, sparking a vital energy. We are presented here with what is essential, in a world otherwise obfuscated by empty language, which folds itself back into the corrosive advancement of the void.
The dyad is the first instant in which distance and linearity are made visible–the source of inequality. Discourse is an example of a dyad that must terminate in, but is not fully constitutive of, form. It is perpetually subordinate to this.The etymology of the word “discourse” is literally “to run around.” Therefore, it is only a mid-point. The present-day discursive use of the word “mid”, a fashionable new axiom used to qualify what is fashionable itself, coincides with the classical origins of the word to mean “with”. The dyad is therefore “both” and “neither” and has no form beyond its tense. The dyad is the immaterial, transient reaction which must ultimately yield to form and matter. Thus, White’s sculptures of dyads (From Which) are elementary illustrations in steel, of an arrow crossing a mid-point, linear displays of an action without end. Matter is the source of differentiation in nature.
The triad, a plane, embodies the formal complexity of triangulation in space. In White’s triads (By Means of Which), the dyad’s arrow becomes a pair of calipers, drawing circles on the floor (a reference to Archimedes). On paper, a compass draws a circle - laying the foundation for the simplest three-dimensional form: the cone. By working in steel, White captures the immediacy of translating drawing into sculpture, but also contends with matter and the feat of verticality. In the triad, geometry is married to matter, and herein lies harmony. This constitutes the realm of three developments. We are moving away from the word and towards the heart.
The tetrad is form happening in time. Kylie White’s tetrad, (With What End or: The Four Seasons), by virtue of allowing the viewer inside and outside of the object, assumes the 4th dimension. Its architecture integrates 4 ornamental elements, each a different wave-form, representing one of four classical elements, four cardinal directions, and four stages of the alchemical Magnum Opus. When positioned on an outdoor site, it functions as a compass rose. It possesses a source of energy, its direction, its form, and its time - the point, the line, the plane, the volume. 1, 2, 3, 4. All of this breaks the potential for language formation that finds its traction in the realm of representation and society, through self-same thoughts and echo chambers. The product of this is freedom. “The Monad is the soul, as justice is nothing other than goodness, in conformity with wisdom.” This is the Magnificent Obsession.
Text by Barrett Avner