The Racket #27 : SHAPE
Poster by Stephanie Hastings
february 28th - adobe books - 7pm
The shape of space.
There's been some confusion in us as of late between the concepts of shape and space. So much so that in a stroke of recent late night panic we sat bleary-eyed at our computer scrolling through every post related to our upcoming event - The Racket #27: SHAPE - convinced that our description had alluded to the equally abstract concept of space instead of shape. It had not; our panic was quelled.
There is a reason our wires are crossed though. Recently, we had an organ removed. Not a top-tier organ mind you - a lung or a kidney - but still, an organ. An angry, painful organ that needed to be shown the door, but nonetheless, an organ, poof, gonezo. Post-surgery, in the wee hours of the morning, clad in only the thin cloth of a hospital gown, somewhere between a drug-daze and sleep, well, we had a lot to think about in terms of our recent loss.
At first we thought of what had been removed - the appendix, a nine centimeter hotdog shape that dangles off the colon. We wondered what it looked like when it came out, if the shape of the damaged organ had reflected the sleepless nights of pain that alerted us to its imminent failure. We wondered where it had ended up, if the piece of our body as we knew it had been chucked into a furnace or perhaps sealed in a jar or buried in a crinkly, red biohazard bag amongst other riff-raff of its sort. We thought of our own shape, the one we'd grown so accustomed to and how with a few hours of surgery it was now different. Even if we couldn't have pointed on an anatomical chart where the appendix might have been, its removal made us something new and we couldn't get our heads around if we were better or worse because of it.
Later, in the midst of at home bed rest learning to appreciate high-waisted sweatpants and the general entropy of not doing anything, we started to think of space. Specifically, the space that remained where our appendix once held court. We lay atop our sheets pushing on one side of our stomach and then the other testing to see if the new lack made a difference, assured that one side felt fuller than the other. We were now missing a piece of ourselves, a shape had been removed and - in our minds at least - a hotdog shaped space was all that remained. We moved slowly and carefully throughout our empty hallways suddenly aware of a hole inside of us and how the smallest movement might brought who-knows-what gushing in.
And then it got confusing. Because what is a shape but a placeholder for a space? And what is a space but the once home of a shape? Or maybe, a space is just a place a shape will one day call home and a shape is just a person a space hires to wait in line for them while they're in the bathroom. That space and shape aren't the opposites of each other, but instead the exact same thing looked at from very different viewpoints. That space and shape are more than solid objects and empty holes, they're the future and the past and the present existing in tandem for anyone with two almond-shaped spaces in their heads to gaze upon.
Anyways, we had an organ removed and we had a lot of time to think.