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Published in Harriet Casdin-Silver

EQUIVOCAL FORKS I

EQUIVOCAL FORKS I EQUIVOCAL FORKS I

1977

11” x 14”

Laser transmission hologram

Silver halide on glass

In the 1984 Light Dimensions catalogue, Harriet says:

“Of the three works in this exhibition, Equivocal Forks is an extension of Phalli, 1975, but Forks is fe/male.  The forks emerge from a circular form, prongs headed away from the spectator – pseudoscopic equivocal phallic prongs, thrusting toward the viewer would project only hostility. There is more subtlety, grace and ambivalence – conceptually important – in the recedence.  Positive and negative space fuse and separate, causing kinetic visual interplay with the movement of the spectator.  Forks is also an example of my frontally projected imagery.  Ideally, the environmental ambience should cause the plate to disappear, leaving the forks to float in space unattached and unhampered except by spectator/participants who reach out to the image.”

In a 1998 catalogue essay, Nick Carpasso, Associate Curator of DeCordova Museum and Sculpture Park, describes Equivocal Forks as “Casdin-Silver’s most famous and widely-reproduced work... The Forks equivocate, both formally and metaphorically. Although they were arranged to point away from the viewers, the tines of the forks do seem to point in both directions simultaneously. Their clustered yet projecting composition seems at once protective and womb-like, threatening and phallic.  Casdin-Silver transformed a simple set of domestic objects into an ambivalent visual and emotional dialogue about poles of experience, subtly gendered.”

Maquette for "Equivocal Forks"

Photographed by Jonathan Ross at Harriet Casdin-Silver's studio in September 2001

Harriet in her studio, September 2001

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