The Same Impossible

a solo exhibition by Kristen Roles

March 2–31, 2018

opening reception Friday, March 2, 6–10

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We call out repeatedly into some elsewhere, hoping for reverberation.

Do overlapping echoes interrupt or make one another more whole?

Jaro Studencki died in March of 2015.

I’ve been making pictures of the physical places we occupied together, the unreachable places we could not occupy together, and the places of measured breathing between preservation and adaptation in which I now dwell.

A photograph of the reflection of a foggy sky in hot spring water tries to disappear, but is fixed in space as a print on paper.

Jorge Luis Borges says that art can not presume to express some essence, only to mention or allude to the thing.

A 4×5 slide, not exposed by me, hovers in an elongated frame lit between two sources. Swelling or shrinking as it’s moved along its hinged path, the slide casts a ghost image that does not resolve until the frame is just shy of contact with the wall.

Peggy Phelan says of the prospect of shared subjectivity, referencing Barthes,

“It must involve a full seeing of the Other’s absence (the ambitious part), a seeing which also entails the acknowledgment of the Other’s presence (the humbling part). For to acknowledge the Other’s (always partial) presence is to acknowledge one’s own (always partial) absence.”

A pillow-organ, imprinted with words from a notebook I should never have had access to read, is inflated with my breath and gradually exhausts, unable to sustain any promised repose.

Anne Carson writes, “How does distance look?”.

Dissolving and reconstituting thin boundaries and heavy breadths, images at best spur refrains of, “Have I seen that/ been there/ felt this before?” while I continue to ask,

“How much can I hold through remembering?

How much of You is sustained through what’s left?

How much can We know by looking?”


Kristen is currently making fragile images, contingent objects, and renegotiative gestures in Albuquerque, where she teaches photography and will complete her MFA from the University of New Mexico this spring.

She received her BFA in Studio Art and a BA in Psychology from the University of South Florida in 2014 and hurdled directly into grad school with very little life experience outside of academia.

She hopes you’ll visit to keep alive the work of a brilliant artist/human with whom she shared too little time in this world.

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