new-york

Ursula von Rydingsvard

Galerie Lelong & Co., New York

Ursula von Rydingsvard’s Blackened Word, 2008, an enormous, rippling accumulation of cedar and graphite, brings to mind the ruins of Angkor Wat as they appear in the final scene of Wong Kar-wai’s 2000 film, In the Mood for Love, which finds the heartbroken hero whispering something into a crack in a decaying wall, seeming almost to want to hide in it. Blackened Word unfolds as one walks around it, a hulking shape irregularly darkened with graphite and cleft with creases, dips, and fjords, some roomy enough to accommodate an arm or a small torso, some just big enough for a probing finger, or less. The artist based the structure on an elderly woman’s shaky handwriting, an enlarged sample of which she laid on the floor and built up from two dimensions into three, providing another sort of whispering, a kind of encoding: a landscape that contains language but does not itself speak.

Von Rydingsvard

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