1 March – 19 April 2003

"Here I present two elements: body and earth. Between them is a common syntax, one easily taken for granted. This syntax encompasses both real and projected arrangements. In painting jargon, it plays out as a dichotomy between figure and ground. The body develops as a highly organized state, thus precarious and unstable. The earth is everything in the background, prior to the appearance of any discrete figure. Yet, the body is the ground, so to speak, of subjectivity. The brush stroke has become a discredited index of this. With no useful coordinates, the brush stroke has become homeless. Subjectivity means the world in your head, as it might seem to you. All knowledge of the world refers to a makeshift image of totality.

This knowledge, a set of tentative identifications, is necessarily reductive and allegorical. We presume that any complete collection of maps culminates in a figure: Atlas, an atlas, any atlas. The crumpled pages of the atlas pile up at the bottom of the ravine. The body is the coordination of mapping. I want to live in my head. I call everything I am not, you. In my room, everything is fine. All that I touch is mine. I am the inverse sum of my possessions. The mental image of my world is a cosmology. I swim through time, closing in on utopia or some version of it. I am treading water. My body is not one body, but a hierarchy of living organisms, all immersed in worlds of their own. New worlds, greater orders of magnitude, appear in concentric circles. The hydrocephalic head seems to want to encompass the universe, i.e., one text. My own world is comparatively circumscribed, a few loci strung together on a vector. When I occupy a space, for the moment, I own it. The corpse introduces a startling absence of subjectivity, a degree of indifference. The corpse signifies the end, but in fact, it is only an intermediate state of decomposition."

- John Miller