Jesse Darling @ Arcadia Missa


emoji simmary of a circle within a circle, a wiggle, and an orange diamond a white shelf on the wall has metal rods pierced through it and off the rods are clay horse heads

I remember a party last year where I was justttt not having it. A friend turned to ask if I was okay and it wasn't that I was upset about anything, but I wasn’t happy either. I said, ’I’m comme ci comme ca.’ And it was the most focused stability, this stiff middle-ground, as I was stuck amongst chatty people and coke and depressants and music, present and quiet. I really didn’t want to speak to anyone, or to myself. I didn’t need to.

I didn’t like The Great Near but I didn’t dislike it either. I was near ^ and okay, even as my body shifted awkward through this soft apocalyptic fantasy set. I didn’t have to speak again, I was just fine with the decisions and arrangement, that particular and insular rationale of ingredients and appendage. Fine going about witnessing formula (and wanting a better word than formula. It’s what I want the 🔶 emoji to mean, the insideness of the person, what they bring, what they lean into), while the friends I went with thought the three gatekeeper sculpture-bodies were ominous and the train over Arcadia Missa was music, intermittent and aggressive. I missed that reaction. I was levelled, even as I recognised upset in the pieces; in the crutch-protrusion, the burny-burny-skin-skin, the wood off-cut supports, the poking horse heads. I thought that maybe it was a good thing that I’d missed affect completely, my aloof satisfaction safe, okay. I haven’t made my mind up about this ambivalence yet. I don’t know what I want. Like, I know my body, how after I’ve been sick, I’ll play it safe and have a piece of toast when really I want orange juice and lasagne, even if I suspect I’ll throw it back up. Kind of a drag, inoffensive, safe, present and quiet, I think. This exhibition is like a stomach settling.