Raque Ford has created an immersive experience at Good Weather by altering the entire floorspace of the gallery into a colorful, multi-paned reflective dancefloor for her solo exhibition A Better Liar. Visitors activate the space by treading atop the artwork, scuffing the floor while discovering sheets printed with text and imagery appearing like debris scattered throughout the floor panes. One can read the echo of yearning—a want to connect across distance—in the artist’s proposition.
Text from Ford’s poem Tonight is laser cut into the floor’s plexi glass tiles. With fragmented excerpts—“Am I sure I am blind in the dark when I beg to touch everything?”— the artist interrogates the fallibility of language through her poem. Tonight finds the artist posing age-old existential questions about the solipsistic nature of language, and failure of communication. Taking a vulnerable utterance and splaying it across an entire floor, a space designed to invite convening, demonstrates a desire to reach beyond oneself. The use of diaristic language is both intimate and exuberant, bleeding from the floor onto the walls, detaching itself from the subject in order to contextualize itself in reception of the other. These wall messages cut from various thickness of acrylic are mainly collected from previous projects, echoing earlier installations to emphasize an ongoing exploration of language that defines Ford’s practice. This is also not the first time Ford has experimented with dance floors, which function as a space for communion and collective expression. While playing with improvisational elements that will continue through supplemental programming, Ford’s work also employs a repetitive modularity that is embedded in the minimalism and pattern of the laser cut tiles.
The exhibition invites viewers to become a part of the artwork, whether tracing the written expressions sprawling across the floor, catching their reflection in the plexi surface, or simply by making use of the space as active participants (live improvisational music, stand-up comedy, listening sessions, poetry readings, and a dance party will further activate the space throughout the duration of the show). As the tiles are eroded by foot traffic, the piece itself will transform and evidence the passing of time. Even after its exhibition, the piece will hold traces of weathering that will occur as the space is in use. At the installation's conclusion, the entire piece will be deconstructed into sixteen standalone wall works, each with its own discrete visual utterance.
Frederick McKindra, 2023
A Better Liar by Raque Ford is the New York-based artist’s first solo exhibition with Good Weather and is on view until May 6, 2023, with gallery hours on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 1–6 p.m. or by appointment.
Raque Ford (b. 1986 Columbia, Maryland) lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. Recent solo presentations include Greene Naftali (New York), 321 Gallery (Brooklyn), CAPITAL (San Francisco), and Shoot the Lobster (New York). Group shows include Albright Knox Gallery (Buffalo), Greater New York at MoMA PS1 (New York), Good Weather (Little Rock), Morán Morán (Mexico City), Greene Naftali (New York), Kai Matsumiya (New York), Roberta Pelan (Toronto), SculptureCenter (Queens), and Division Gallery (Montreal). Ford’s work is in the collections of the High Museum of Art (Atlanta) and The Museum of Modern Art (New York). She will present a solo booth with Good Weather at Liste in June 2023.