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VIRGINIA POUNDSTONE 

眼睛疲勞 Eye Strain
October 12 - November 10, 2019 
Opening Reception: Saturday, October 12 , 6-8PM


Eye strain, also known as asthenopia (from Greek asthen-opia, ἀσθεν-ωπία, "weak-eye-condition"), is an eye condition that manifests through nonspecific symptoms such as fatigue, pain in or around the eyes, blurred vision, headache, and occasional double vision. Symptoms often occur after reading, computer work, or other close activities that involve tedious visual tasks.1

Eye Strain is a solo exhibition by Virginia Poundstone that includes art works made with copper, glass, wood, fabric, synthetic flower dye, and UV ink. For much more than ten years, Ms Poundstone has intellectualized flowers as symbolic value and material culture waste. She has traced their political economy and her personal employment history in the industry. For the first time she is allowing them to be direct stand-ins for our bodies and the spaces we move through while we use the internet.

She is also making available a print-on-demand edition of The Country of the Blind by H.G. Wells. First published in 1904, this is a work of short fiction that is in the public domain. The plot: a Bogotano named Nuñez explores a fictional mountain in Ecuador and accidentally comes across a mythical village where everyone is blind. “The seeing had become purblind so gradually that they scarcely noted their loss.” They were blinded as a community, after an outbreak of the hilariously named, Mindobamba, disease. “Generation followed generation. They forgot many things; they devised many things. Their tradition of the greater world they came from became mythical in colour and uncertain.” Nuñez decides that he knows better then the residents and wants to become their king. They think he’s weird and stupid, which is what he thinks about them. He falls in love, the elders won’t allow them to marry because his sight makes him delusional. He decides to undergo surgery to make him blind. The morning of the surgery, he chickens out and runs away without any tools for survival. “The glow of the sunset passed, and the night came, and still he lay peacefully contented under the cold clear stars.” It’s a great story that serves as a fun allegory for our neo-liberal post-colonial patriarchal nightmare which increasingly makes us unable to tell fact from fiction or treat each other as humans. She hopes you enjoy Wells' short story and both her show and the exhibition of Lydia McCarthy running concurrently in the back space gallery.

The invitation image is from the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Open Access collection of works in the public domain. Period: Early Dynastic IIIa; Date: ca. 2600–2500 B.C.; Geography: Mesopotamia, Nippur, Culture: Sumerian; Medium: Lapis lazuli, shell; Dimensions:3/8 × 5/8 × 1/4 in. (0.9 × 1.6 × 0.7 cm); Classification: Stone-Ornaments; Credit Line: Rogers Fund, 1962; Accession Number:62.70.84
1 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eye_strain