Simone Subal Gallery

Glass Puzzle

Uri Aran, Andrea Büttner, Joan Jonas, Yorgos Sapountzis, and Mary Simpson

June 28 – August 1, 2014
Opening reception June 28th 6-8pm

It is as if we have all been lowered into an atmosphere of glass. –Anne Carson, The Glass Essay[1]

I called the work ‘Glass Puzzle’ because it was a puzzle in space. I was interested in making a sensual space. It’s also a puzzle about two women, about whom there is no explanation. –Joan Jonas[2]

One version of an event is like a body without a shadow. If we flip our idea of the split, from Freud (division from trauma) or Janet (retreat from hysteria), instead of a psychic break we arrive at a fracturing whole, shifting into versions and variations as a natural tear along the lines of the self: a puzzle. A game of mimesis, with rules and logic but no goal. At the start of the game a split occurs, one body—one performer—into two. The self scatters, and in that moment a gap is formed, between the mirror (the screen) and the double (the self). A glass puzzle plays with that gap, exploits it. It splits, then works to conceal the split, picks up a mask to substitute one for another, a surrogate. A glass puzzle is a puzzle in space—perpetually pieced back together, never completing itself.

Taking its title from Joan Jonas’s 1973/74 video work, Glass Puzzle, the exhibition brings together artists working with the logic of rules, substitution, artifact and repetition.

–Mary Simpson

[1] Anne Carson, Glass, Irony and God, 1995
[2] Isla Leaver-Yap, Performing the Image: Joan Jonas’ Glass Puzzle, 2011


‘Glass Puzzle’, Goings on about town: Art, The New Yorker, July 2014
Rosenberg, Karen ‘Glass Puzzle’, The New York Times, July 3, 2014