About Material > Upcoming Exhibition Joseph Cassan Sectionals November 2 - November 27th Organized by Julia Klein


Upcoming Exhibition
Joseph Cassan
November 2 - November 27th
Organized by Julia Klein

Brainstorming on Joseph Cassan’s SECTIONALS

Joseph Cassan is an artist who makes ideas, but the ideas that drive his work are often subsumed by his intense craftsmanship and the strangeness of his forms.
An idea for Joe is a spring board into obsessive illusion-making, which can leave a viewer in awe and scratching their head.

Head scratching is a good way to begin making sense of his new project, “Sectionals”, which consists of seven realistic skull-caps— partial skulls, seemingly cut from the top portion of a human skull. In this uppermost section of the skull exists a space, a sort of niche, in which we are left to ponder the contents, or lack there of.

What would be there, of course, is a brain, or part of a brain. The top section of a brain. And what is inside of a brain?

The realm of the mind is both mundane and cosmic. The empty skull is simply a container. In olden times it might have been used as a cup for drinking or grinding herbs. On a symbolic level, we consider the vastness of consciousness. Absent of organic gray matter, we are invited to blast off into the void— nothing and everything.

The number zero mathematically represents nothing, zilch. A Buddhist might advise you to look through the “0”, not at it. If you look through the hole at the center, you see the entire universe. Emptiness equals everything-ness.

Joe recently told me that he hated show statements. Reflecting on this new project, his mind went appropriately blank. By blank, I mean it went in a million directions all at once, leaving him with nothing. His points of contact to the world of matter are his hands and eyes.

In order to peer into the interior space of these partial skulls, they needed to be rotated back ninety degrees. In doing so, the sections align to the position of a sleeping head, resting on the back cushion of a sofa…perhaps a sectional.

One measure of art is the manifestation of something from nothing. Joe's Sectionals are unsettlingly realistic. To learn that they’re made from nothing more than wet paper towels and glue might blow your mind. If that happens, you’ll be ready to look inside.

Scott Wolniak
October, 2023