Erica Baum “the bite in the ribbon” Crèvecœur / Paris

April 19, 2022

“the bite in the ribbon”, the title of Erica Baum’s new solo show, is taken from Gertude Stein’s poem A New Cup and Saucer published in her famous prose poetry book Tender Buttons in 1914.

On the occasion of her fourth exhibition at the gallery, Erica Baum will present new photographs from the Pattern series, encompassing images of superimposed gauzy fibours sewing instructions and selvages from accompanying sewing guides. Mass produced for the home tailor, selvages were defined as “an edge produced on woven fabric during manufacture that prevents it from unravelling”.

Likewise Stein’s hard to classify text, inspired by the European early century avant-gardist movement, these series of works also implement an experimental use of language related to the everyday object.

“With the Patterns I let the lines loosen up and break free from their horizontal and vertical bonds. When you’re working with a spread-out pattern, it’s quite large and you can end up circling around it—your place in relation to it is always changing. With no fixed point of view, the words can appear at any angle. So the subject and the approach kind of meld together.
This series also uses language that is directive and bluntly descriptive, like “cuff” or “brim” but I’m turning it away from its neutral instructional tone. Words like ‘Bloomer’s take on kind of old fashioned humorous almost cartoony edge. I’m always interested in the ways that bits of incidental language can prompt revelations that get at larger structural and cultural questions—that’s the anthropology.”
– Erica Baum, 2022

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