Text-based > Hold Me Close

Hold Me Close is a sculptural installation that responds to the physical and atmospheric space of the gallery (historically a walk-in cooler) while exploring visual art’s ongoing engagement with language. Hold Me Close consists of oversized illuminated LED letters which overlap one another and spell the phrase H-O-L-D-M-E. The piece engages in a form of wordplay not unlike Symbol Simon, where everyday words and phrases are decoded through picture puzzles. While the type, size and materials mimic retail and advertising signage, this outward aesthetic is recontextualized, thereby playfully disrupting our familiar responses. In conjunction with the gallery’s historic, dark, confined space, the glow of the text aims to envelope the viewer, offering a quiet and contemplative environment. The notion of pairing an expression of desired intimacy within these isolated surroundings is influenced by Pamela M. Lee’s interpretation of the Kantian sublime, which she describes as “a question of the mind’s struggle to grasp the supersensible – a question of presentation and, hence, representation. It ‘may be regarded as quite formless or devoid of figure’ bringing about ‘a feeling of pain arising from the want of accordance between the aesthetical estimation of magnitude formed by the imagination and the estimation of the same formed by reason.’”