The series of tapestries entitled “Security” are large scale woven tapestries created in Belgium.  Production of these tapestries is facillitated by Magnolia Editions Atelier in Oakland, CA.  These images are the inside out surfaces of common envelopes.  The envelope pattern signifies the secrecy of its contents.  It is a kind of protection that blocks one from looking through something into its contents.  This visual blockage is turned inside out and presented as large scale woven objects; the implied function of the envelope is also inverted; the words “envelope” go from noun to verb, the word “security” from adjective to emotional nuance.  The function of the pattern at this scale is lost and the abstract of color and woven detail alternate to block its original function and create a soothing atmosphere of pleasure and loss of recognition.


“Lewis deSoto’s tapestry seems to vibrate with movement. The hieroglyphic markings that make up the massive image have an energy all their own and the overall effect is soothingly hypnotic. However, the genesis for the pattern comes from something quite small in dimension: the security lining of an envelope.


Without knowing the origin of deSoto’s imagery, we rely on the title for some clues as to the meaning of the massive abstract field. While Security refers specifically to his visual reference, it also plays with a word that, since 9/11, is emotionally charged. The first definition for “security” in the dictionary is safety. However, in our post 9/11 world, it may just as easily evoke fear of terrorist activity. Our visual definition might now be a long line at the airport rather than images of home and family that were once conjured up by the word “security.” It is only once we’ve completed this exercise that deSoto’s poignantly subtle message is delivered.


Lewis deSoto’s "Security 2" is rich in ambiguity. While Security refers specifically to his visual reference – the security lining of an envelope – it also plays with a word that, since 9/11, is emotionally charged. While the first definition for “security” in the dictionary is safety, our visual definition of “security” might now be a long line at the airport rather than images of home and family. Ironically, an increased sense of vulnerability and insecurity is often the consequence of heightened security measures, and the word “security” can evoke fear – fear of terrorism, loss of rights, constraint and control. DeSoto’s piece locates us in that curious periphery between the fortified and the fragile.” --Magnolia Editions website

 

Security  2003

Lewis deSoto
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Wallworks
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