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language is my second language

Jinn Bronwen Lee

Jinn Bronwen Lee

language is my second language
James Kubie, Jinn Bronwen Lee
February 21-March 20, 2010

Perhaps if they met at a party James Kubie and Jinn Bronwen Lee wouldn’t have all that much to say to each other. James practices every word. Jinn Bronwen hangs back and waits for the conversation to unfold. 

James Kubie has been approaching initiatory fraternal societies. He isn’t trying to join, but neither is his project an ethnographic study. Like one of my eccentric great aunts, James also tries to re-write the cannon of medical protocol. But my aunts were trying to improve their odds of healing. James embraces a theatrical extravagance over statistics and practical science. But he does his homework. He meticulously researches oddities, processes, and histories. But it is geekery, a carny’s studied act meant to shift expectations under your feet. 

Jin Bronwen is more matter of fact. She jumps into the middle of a conversation; says what she has to say. There are no book reports to prop up her assertions. But neither is she challenging proscribed histories. There is an earnestness that brings some gravitas, but one would probably avoid descriptions like heavy.

So now I have a problem. If I clarify James’ reportage or Jinn Bronwen’s directed meander, I do disservice. These artists masterfully allow content to reveal itself. Inevitably the place you land is not where you thought you were heading. The approach of these artists is built on accentuating what isn’t said. When they get to the best of it, their art illuminates that place somewhere in between being something and being about something.

James Kubie

James Kubie