Same Side of the Bed
A solo exhibition of Marco Pariani
Within ritual lies an inherent tension - the tug between comfort and monotony. The capacity for habitual behavior to be simultaneously deeply satisfying and, at the same time, soul chaffing vexes modern relationships. In the series created for Same Side of the Bed, Marco Pariani investigates this tension by referencing the objects animated by the ritualized behavior of a long-married couple. Pillows, blankets, clothes, mattresses, carpets, lamps, and socks all make abstracted appearances like props in a theater scene of a play seen many times over.
As novelty succumbs to banality we are reminded of our most ordinary joys and excruciating routines. We equally recognize the pleasure of our morning coffee, and the frustration of the seemingly constant nightly question, “What do you want for dinner?” The joys of domestic ritual are many, suggesting comfort, predictability, stability, and contentment. The ease with which we move about our shared spaces, a slow motion dance established over years of somatic negotiation, results in an unspoken intimacy that binds us tightly to various cohabitants throughout our lives. Ultimate comfort seems to come at a cost, though. As we ease into our routines, we also tend to experience a nagging urge for newness and excitement. What ritual offers in comfort, it lacks in spark.
Perhaps the world outside of the quiet bedroom is capricious enough. As in life, the allure of Pariani’s paintings is in their balance between known and unknown. As change happens all around, comfort and routine are solemn retreats. Pariani imagines the domestic couple as they rear children, buy new furniture, experience loss, celebrate birthdays and holidays. All these things pass by in fits of change, for better and worse, but their evening routine is the same as they step from the same foot into the same bed.
November 4, 2017
On view November 4 through December 3
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