A Pocket that Could Hold the Universe • Carina Santos

Jun 1 to Jun 28, 2018 • Upstairs Gallery

In a pocket that could hold the universe, Santos explores the notion of totalities by way of fragments and containment. Through a series of ten pieces, she puts together 12 “perspectives,” framed and contained within a smaller plane and each a part of a whole that when put together, still do not quite provide a sense of completeness. There is, perhaps, a bigger view, where a larger image can be seen, but the question of what is lacking also comes up. The spaces in between these small pockets represent, perhaps, what has been obscured, what cannot be immediately seen or sensed.

Moving away from the largely painterly approach present in her recent work, Santos combines illustrative, photographic, and a few literary devices along with her watercolors, a way of broadening her scope of expression in a pocket. These create relations with one another, conversing in a shared language, all of which have been previously utilized though not necessarily in the same space as one another.

Each component part is a vessel, where something much bigger is contained and takes the shape of what it is being held by. In a sense, these small “pockets” suggest a materiality of space, where the full expression of what is being shared cannot come to be, given the limitations of the spatial dimension. What is visible is what can be grasped and kept — that which has been contained — but the expression of the visible also alludes to, and confirms, the existence of what is not available to be seen in the same way.

Although these vessels speak of containment, the small fragments are “pockets,” too — a device used to carry small objects — and in this case, small multitudes. Each little plane is a pocket that reveals what it is that we carry with us, but also what we leave behind.