Suzanne Silver

The Figuring/Ephemeral Line Project

I spent the year 2013-14 in Europe and the Middle East, walking and measuring, marking time and distance away from home and the space between each new culture and language.  I brought with me crude line fragments in porcelain that I had made in the United States. With these long or short straight or curved lines, I developed drawing and figuring rituals of finding physical and/or conceptual lines in space, setting down variable numbers of porcelain pieces, photographing them, and then leaving (with or without the materials).

This figuring/ephemeral line project pays homage to the tradition of walking in each culture I visited, from la flânerie of Baudelaire and la dérive of the Situationists (France), to Via Francigena (Italy) to the eruvin (Israel). I developed foot and hand gear to carry the line fragments and performed the rituals without talking. No one ever stopped or questioned me, as though my actions were an inherent part of each culture. I made numerous maps during this period and collected ephemera from each locale.

Moving back and forth between the opposing impulses of Georges Perec’s taxonomic documentation of the experience of foreign travel and the voyageur sédentaire of Xavier De Maistre’s travel of the imagination in which the “traveler” never leaves the room, my interventions and artifacts blend fact with fiction in order to connect real and imagined space.