Taos Web Logged

Taos Web Log | Taos, Logged | Blog Taos | Taos Blog

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Melissa Zink’s Distinct Peculiarity

Melissa Zink’s new show at the Parks Gallery in Taos, New Mexico, is called “Quiddities: Precise Ambiguities within Interrupted Continuities.”


First, you may have to look up “quiddities,” or its singular form “quiddity,” which means the essence, nature or distinctive peculiarity of a thing. It can also mean “a trifling nicety; a cavil; a quibble.” We all know what it means to quibble over the small stuff.

But that is something Zink never seems to do – quibble over the small stuff. Even while exploring a microcosm of meaning, she can be tuning the Big Picture into sharp focus. Her obscurities aren’t really hard to understand – they are just so basic we think there must be a more complex answer.

For instance, in this show Zink has a piece called “Glorification of the Miniscule,” which shows a ponderously huge and encrusted frame cut down to surround and set apart something small, while topped with an even more important frame glorifying the last three letters of the alphabet. The work makes us laugh – how silly! Such amplification of the unimportant is worth a hearty chuckle, but inwardly, we know this kind of glorification of the miniscule is exactly what popular culture uses as a diversionary tactic from the bigger issues.

It is possible the name for the show comes from a book by W. V. Quine called “Quiddities: An Intermittently Philosophical Dictionary,” where, moving from A to Z, Quine roams through more than 80 topics, vigorous thought, wordplay and wisdom. “Couched in easy and elegant prose,” the review presented by its publisher, H


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home