This Is Not A Test

     The technical term for a sea urchin shell is a “test.” The same word, test, is used in French. The dominant circular convex portion of the assemblage is patterned, to a high degree of precision, on a sea urchin shell. Viewing the work through the proper lens enhances the urchin test design quite vividly. The assemblage is no more a test than Rene Magritte’s pipe is a pipe in his painting This is not a pipe, or, as he would have it, Ceci n’est pas une pipe. In fact, the phrase Ceci n’’est pas une test is written on the assemblage, pretty much hiding in plain sight. Magritte, like countless other artists, was preoccupied with examining the status of objects and the status of images and the sometimes weird and confounding relationship they have with one another. The present work can be seen as a postmodern take on this preoccupation.

 

This Is Not A TestStephen Harris