“Spacing Place/Placing Space is about a space and its representation, a space and its perception, a space and painting. Walker Keith Jernigan will work at xenos arte contemporanea (Florence) for a month representing it. Xenos Arte Contemporanea and its constitutive signs are the starting point, four painted surfaces will be placed in the space. The painting gesture, and the passing of time will deposit on the canvases. The result of this performative painting action is the representation of the space made by over impositions, accumulations, different points of view.

Spacing Place/Placing Space creates a fractured experience of the artist’s process of interpreting the space while simultaneously exploring the space, removing any distraction of extraneous subject matter and detailing human experience and painting as communication. The space of the gallery and the space of representation are both the subject and the object of this exploration. The coincidence of subject and object underlines a continuous shift: the subject is the site of the gallery as well as the idea of representation; the object is the painting (so the idea of representation) as well as the place represented. On this border moves the idea of the research of the artist, which through a performative action will register this time based experience. Objects present in the space, signs of time passing on the walls, time passed by the artist in the gallery, all this will be visible in the final work.

Can you raccount a space? Can you really portray every wrinkle of its history? Or will every attempt in the end miss something, be a failure, work on another level? Does painting possibly contain signs which question the subject but also operate as a meta-physical displacement? These are some of the questions Walker Keith Jernigan poses entering in contact with Xenos Arte Contemporanea, a space perceived as a dense and stratified raw material. Spacing Place/Placing Space is a relationship, a seismographic trace that will record time and show lines, structures, disconnections, fractures. These traces emerging on the surface(s) will become a coherent organism.

Painting means observing, measuring, walking in the space, perceiving every light variation, giving back all the stratifications. Spacing Place/Placing Space is a portrait, another layer of skin; it is a performance about perception; it is a record of signs that layer after layer gets away from the mere realistic documentation of the space to become an act of revelation. The canvases reflect, are projections, represent, absorb, unhinge the space. They will be inside the walls; held by the debris of the wall; disassembled in their structure and left de-structured; transformed in transparent diaphragms that hold residual traces of painting signs. None of these records are pure documents, even holding elements of the reality of the space they transcend them becoming images that question the ontology of painting itself. Painting finds itself on the threshold, questioning the possibilities and the ambiguity of a clear representation. Painting is the only way you can relate to the multiple layers hidden in a place, the place that Walker Keith Jernigan portrays.

Spacing place/Placing Space interrogates – moving in the interstices of experience – the merging experience of the presence of a place and its painting representation.”

Daria Filardo