David Muenzer at Lord Ludd, Philadelphia

Muenzer has created Sconces with inscriptions, installed throughout the space. An RSVP list now punctuates each window view, and a tarp, heavy with highlighter juice, obscures the skylight. A blue procession of fingerprints, his and ours, cuts a line across the room.

The name optics refers to the science of lenses—how devices let you see. With a simple change of preposition, however, optics designates how a thing appears to others. This paranoid grammar presupposes the presence of lookers. The crystalline optics on “A More Perfect Union,” Barack Obama’s 2008 speech distancing himself from his longtime pastor, clearly affected the outcome of his candidacy. Although internal relations are essential to the cohesion of a traditional essay, when it comes to political talk, the meaning of words dissolve at their edges. The inner contours of an argument blur while a rhetorical silhouette is immediately identifiable. Another type of essai comes to mind: the pattern coin, a test from which other currency may be struck.

Essai by David Muenzer
Lord Ludd, Philadelphia
September 23–October 30, 2016