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Stephanie Bursese: Waiting Room
On View March 2 - April 14, 2019
Stephanie Bursese, Corner Window, Pigment Print, 2018

Waiting Room is an installation by Stephanie Bursese that includes a physical gallery space at Vox Populi and a durational text piece that will be created over the course of the exhibition and be published on the Vox Populi website. The following text is the most recent piece in this series, they are presented in reverse-chronological order.

(session 2)

“Either it makes not the least bit of sense or it has exactly the sense I say it has”

In the realm of psychology, there is a hot term called “repetition compulsion” often defined by its relation to the “pleasure principle”.

Your guide to the pleasure principle.
A clear glass pitcher sits on a frosted glass table. The pitcher is filled with cold water. I’m standing in front of the table and it’s sunset. You are a kid and you’ve never done this before.
I’m so thirsty so I’m going to pick up that pitcher and drink the water. I don’t need a glass and it doesn’t matter.
On the edge of the pitcher there is a piece of the uneven glass and it gives me a little cut on my lip. Someone in your family puts out the pitcher every morning, it’s a nice gesture.

Your guide to repetition compulsion.
A clear glass pitcher sits on a frosted glass table. The pitcher is filled with water. I’m standing in front of the table and it’s sunset. You are a child and you’ve never done this before.
I’m so thirsty so I’m going to pick up that pitcher and drink the water. I don’t need a glass and it doesn’t matter.
On the edge of the pitcher there is a piece of the uneven glass and it gives me a little cut on my lip. Someone in your family puts out the pitcher every morning, it’s a nice gesture.
This is the water pitcher that is always on the table. I use it for years. When I drink the water, it holds a thin stream of blood.
Now I’m older and I don’t know where that pitcher went.
My dentist said “You always have a cut on the inside of your lip, it looks like you are biting it, does it hurt?”
I said “Oh, a little bit, but not really, I’ve always had a cut there. Sometimes when I drink cold water, maybe I bite it by mistake?”.
“Well it could get infected, I would try to stop biting it”.
I know that the water tastes better with a little bit of blood in it. It feels good.
Every time I drink water, now, I say with focus “Don’t bite your lip, the water doesn’t taste better bloody”.

It’s not that I believe it, what I’m saying. But I know it’s better this way.

(session 1)

7/8 is a very frustrating fraction. There is a lot of writing about the number 7 and how perfect it is. About how many people thought it was the ideal number. But there isn’t as much writing about the number 8. Though, this is also heralded by some as a mystical number, it’s more binding and foggy than 7.

The number 8 looks a lot like the symbol for infinity and it draws some of it’s magic from this proximity. What does it look like to approach infinity, see it up ahead, and pull back?

About the Artist

Stephanie Bursese (b.1980) makes work that investigates photography’s role in limiting perspective; she uses site-specific installations, book forms, and printed images to create loops of meaning within spatial and psychological spaces. Her work has been shown in numerous galleries, museums, and publications nationally and internationally; she is represented in both private and public collections. She was selected for a residency at the Fabric Workshop and Museum in 2006 and was awarded a project grant from the Meadowlands Commission in New Jersey in 2009. She has published two books of photographs, Razor Thin Rock Hard (2013) and Belt and Brace (2015), and is currently working on new book tied to her exhibit ‘to skip, to gloss’. Bursese earned a B.F.A from the University of Florida and her M.F.A. from Syracuse University and works as the Program Manager for the Philadelphia Area Creative Collaboratives (PACC) program at Haverford College, a new initiative funded by the Mellon Foundation. She is an artist member at Vox Populi Gallery in Philadelphia where she lives and works.
More Info: stephaniebursese.com