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Sinking Feeling

Sinking Feeling

Kay Rosen Sinking Feeling 1984/1995 Letterpress print on board in two parts

Image/paper size:  22 x 14 inches each  (55.9 x 35.6 cm each)
Signed and dated on reverse on sheet 1/2
(Inventory #28773)

Sinking Feeling draws on sound, pronunciation and meaning.  It refers to ‘synching’  as a chorus of simultaneous voices, as in synchronizing; as ‘cinching,’ like a tightening noose; and of course ‘sinking.’ They combine in various ways to ‘lynching,’ a violent abduction by a mob; and ‘linking’ in which groups of people are linked and oppressed by association.  To take one of these references further, the text makes bold the fearful thought that comes from a “feeling” (aka something that is not tangible).  It utilizes the seemingly ‘era-appropriate’ vernacular font of the subject matter of a lynching, yet one of the key elements of the work, in this age of immediate responses and criticisms of difficult subject matter, is the absolute requirement that the work exist in multiplicity.  “Officially” the work is a pair (each pair is signed and numbered as if it were one piece, which the artists considers it to be), and thus no lynching can occur without MORE THAN ONE.  This rule is something that poetically refers to many troublesome issues – no one person every seems to truly act alone.  In order for an awful situation to occur MULTIPLE people have to be working, in some way, together.  Rosen’s work uses a play on words and verbal repetition to get at very serious topics, all while expanding the issue from one awful type of crime to the issue of human nature.

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