Dan Finsel | Notes on Looking

Dan Finsel, The Space between You and Me / Hammer Biennial first visit, immediate impressions, part two

Dan is dancing, his feet do a ballet (they writhe like nervous, eager virgins) while hisĀ  mouth directs his muse, “Spread your legs.” His toes paint on the floor, “Now smile – not so tight. Tell me you love me. Say it.” Is it shit or blood or paint that his toes and heels smear? Clay. A sculpture asks: “Can I wait in the fireplace?” (yes sir, can I hide in your hearth, with its blow job, knee-hole eye-hole, at the very center of your heat? Can I?!) Like Penelope and like Philomela (and like neither, for Odysseus is present, not absent in his exceptional perversity and no one has been devoiced, although a rape – or two – may be taking place), Dan has woven rag rugs of inexpensive (and promisingly mec or trade) tank tops and tighty-whitey briefs, these serve as blankets to protect his obsession from the floor, or vice versa, resting on these are a table that supports one sculpture (a Minoan goddess or bastard Venus of Willendorf) and the body, the impression in clay of a months-long, torrid – if imaginary – affaire de lust. A pineapple makes an appearance and I am relieved. Two black and white photographs of this tropical fruit hang in the gallery and I wonder(ed) why. The appearance is neither explained, nor is it given context in the twenty plus minute film. I think that pineapples promise wealth and welcome guests, I recall the sweet, hormonal scent of a pineapple left too long on a table in the summer, and my imagination conjures the sticky, tangy fluid that spills...