Somebody had to do it
January 29 - March 6, 2010

At first, I'd like to sketch out the notion of a metonymic gesture in the work of Alex Hubbard. As figure of speech, the metonym is adjacent to the concept it stands for (the 'sword' referring to and used for 'warfare') but not a part, as with a synecdoche (all 'hands' on deck, get your 'butt' over here - parts standing in for whole bodies). This adjacency is a kind of transfer of qualities, a refinement of metaphor into an abstract-concrete substance, of the abstract that is changeable into the concrete, something that is contiguous and not just similar. The metonymic gesture will steer clear of images for this reason -- it doesn't need them -- while abandoning the out-and-out gesture that is an image of some sort of loss (of action).

A couple of metaphors. Let's say the image is sent galloping around the racetrack, to win or not, and then sent back to the stables. It begins to have a history, or a track record, a certain predictability. Next, the image as a node in a network, a calling card in a parallel stack of hyper-cards, maybe even a punch card.

Lastly, I've come up with a schema to locate Alex Hubbard's work somewhere amongst the following: flower arranging - feng shui - a tea ceremony - grooming a horse for a show. I've thrown together some loose statements on each of the four points of the framework to make a couple of text assemblies.

-Celebrate big, billowing flowers by the armful, with an exuberant large-scale arrangement that showcases the unrestrained beauty of hydrangeas. Tendrils of clematis winding through the blooms, anchored in the flower frog secured to the bottom of the vase with dots of adhesive.

-Move your furniture around, it is good to do every so often.

-Based upon the simple act of boiling water, making tea.

-With a rubber currycomb, scrub a moisturizing shampoo deep into the coat, lifting out the scurf (dead skin) and dirt. It is best to divide the horse into quarters, and then scrub and rinse each quarter before moving on to the next.

-A massive gathering of a single type of flower, dainty alstroemeria, a neat dome of them -- with every leaf removed.

-Keep brooms and mops out of sight; preferably upside down, like armaments to keep out intruders.

-The entranceway, cut at floor level into one of the walls, obliges one to crawl on hands and knees into the tearoom.

-Slide a pair of pantyhose over your horse's legs to protect them from dust while you get all your tack on, and get yourself changed.

Antek Walczak, 1/18/10

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