Double Vision: Agathe Snow/Marianne Vitale
August 2019

“Convergence Insufficiency (CI) is a common binocular (two-eyed) vision disorder in which the eyes do not work at near easily. An eye teaming problem in which the eyes have a strong tendency to drift outward when reading or doing close work (exophoria at near). If the eyes do drift out, the person is likely to have double vision.”

Over the years, Snow and Vitale have individually and then in fits of their fanciful collaborations created bold, provocative, confrontational via playful, end-of-days-as-in-end-of-daze-ish work, work that celebrates a reckoning.

Here and now, with an invitation for a residency at Elaine de Kooning House this August, they are determined to take as their premise the notion that double vision is something to be achieved and deployed, not feared, at least when collaborating: that the anxiety impelled by intimate connection merging with radical defection can be something to play with and strive towards. They surmise it’s what constitutes reciprocity; embracing the awkwardness.

Elaine becomes exercise. The house, exorcised. It’s structural guts, hair and skin inspiring studio drawings, self-portraiture in watercolors, a basement tit bar serving smokey clams atop leftover John Chamberlain bumpers (who purchased the house in 1989 after Elaine’s death,) and rear view mirrors spinning sunlight from a garden deck climbing with witch hazel.

Not much has changed for women artists since 9th street women and maybe nothing much will happen unless we reconcile and play with souls of the past and carry them ahead. Snow and Vitale demonstrate that life can be a gas if we desist from worshipping false foundations, so why not rub up against ghosts for inspiration.

After successful masturbation, your eyes will adjust.