Emily Fussner

Untitled (cracks), 2021

Pigmented abaca paper pulp with copper wire, cast from asphalt parking lot cracks


Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/emilyfussner/

I spend a lot of time crouched down close to cracks and light. In parking lots, I fill and cast cracks with paper pulp, or trace and photograph shifting shapes of sunlight and shadow in stairwells, hallways, alleyways. Considered with attention and care, these transitional spaces and peripheral patterns become thresholds of poetic possibility. Using materials that inhabit a tension between strength and fragility, I translate the on-site documentation into sculptures, drawings, prints, books, poems, and installations that unfold and cast shadows in other contexts, taking on new dimension and meaning.

For a specific example of this, visitors will see a lot of my cast paper cracks work on the studio walls. Filling mundane asphalt cracks is a gesture of mending–a reference to Kintsugi, the Japanese art of repairing broken ceramics with gold (something my body relates to, having the rare brittle bone condition Osteogenesis Imperfecta). Once removed from the ground, the cast paper forms are relics of a specific fracture (even retaining the crack’s dirt), yet become an aerial map, a skeleton, veins, a scar that can cast a shadow. Besides working with these forms sculpturally, I’ve also been creating drawings from their shadows.