The law of excluded middle sets up a way to consider our world through the use of dichotomies. Things are black or white, a building is duck or decorated shed, the series 7777 appears in Pi or it does not. Between such poles, however, are vast latitudes of space, meaning, and possibility; idiot professor is an exhibition that quietly announces how conflicting meanings may be equally viable conclusions and that permanence routinely gives way to vulnerability.
In Erin Washington’s new body of paintings and drawings, time unravels through the performance of their belabored making and their subsequent degradation. Washington’s materials are fugitive, symbolic, and theoretical. They include chalk, blackberries, scientific diagrams, fire, ash, art history, Post-it notes, debris, mythology, moss, self-deprecating humor, bone, and saliva. These are disparate materials that Washington manipulates to depict ruptures and failures in the search for meaning and truth. What have been made indeterminate thoughts now pave the way for a determined trust and faith in what might be humanity or the idiot professor who guides us into this unsure place.
Erin Washington is a lecturer in the Painting and Drawing Department at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago where she received her MFA in 2011. One person exhibitions include Illinois State University, The Riverside Art Center, and Zolla/Lieberman Gallery. Her work has also been included in group exhibitions at Shane Campbell Gallery, Chicago; Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago; Selena Gallery, Brooklyn; and Columbia University, New York.