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Levester Williams: “Any Holder but a Pot Holder” at Institute for Humanities

Event 33043 original

Any Holder but a Pot Holder, a new installation by Levester Williams (BFA 2013), is on display at the U‑M Institute for the Humanities through October 20, with an opening reception on Thursday, September 15 at 5:30 pm. 

Williams’ installation, both visceral and poetic, reconsiders the urban sprawl of Detroit and its surrounding area through the small interventions with pot-laden roads. Williams fills a number of pot holes with his comical and (dis)figured sculptures that are composites of everyday and sculptural objects, such as clothing articles and resin-coated toruses. His interventions become a morphological inquiry that strives toward a greater fertility between objects and beings, language and the world. 

Artist’s Statement
Pot hole. Hole saw. Hole in one. Hole in many. Hole out. Hole up. A hole in the wall. A hole in the heart. A hole in a sole. A whole-full soul. The existence of a hole is the fantasy of possibility, the possibility of possession, and the possession of a hole-full knowledge. Everything could be engaged through holes. 

An asshole allows for the turning inward and outward of itself and, thus, commits itself to a perpetual transaction and contact of things. Like an asshole, a pot hole is gaping for matter. Unlike an asshole, a pot hole is gaping to matter to not matter anymore. Nonetheless, the forming of pot holes evinces everything: commerce; transportation; class; race; water; economics; topography of basins, streets, and glaciers; urban planning; politics; anatomy; public policy; etc. The hole theory may reveal such phenomenon. 

Artist William Pope.L writes about the hole theory — a theory of nothingness. His theory propagates without a point (to make). Nonetheless one (or many) exists. It resides in-between the spaces of the theoretical discourse, away from definitive linguistic acts, and in the imaginary faculty of our minds. Such theoretical elusion and self-reflexivity provides the means to occlude the theory: yet, its paradoxical framing leaves the discourse wide open. The application of the theory ensures failure while its non-activity succeeds in procuring validation. A theory of nothingness has no substance, yet it provides subsistence; moreover, it allows extensive contact with other modes of being, even those that are existentially marginal. 

The wholesomeness of a pot hole relies not on the integrity of a cohesive whole but on the incongruity of wholeness — a paradox of being. Such paradox affords the presence of a pot hole or any hole to reside at the brink of a soulfulness of all things. A worldly (de)formation. A holy reformation of life.

Levester Williams: Any Holder but a Pot Holder
September 15 — October 20 
Opening Reception: Thursday, September 15, 5:30 pm
Gallery Hours: Monday — Friday, 9 am — 5 pm
Institute for the Humanities, 202 S. Thayer