The experience of being a twin is often perceived as something like having a shared subjectivity. No matter how that link plays out over the course of a life, it’s not hard to imagine why the loss of a twin often leads to a particularly complicated grieving process for the one left carrying on as a twinless twin. For some, the loss occurs before birth, which the surviving sibling could be made aware of, creating a uniquely complex experience of trauma stemming from a pre-conscious event. Some twinless twins might spend their entire lives grappling with the guilt and confusion that comes with knowing that their own moment of origin is inextricably connected to the destruction of someone meant to be a lifelong companion.
Questions of origin are primary and constant in the work of Connor Camburn. As certain aspects come in and out of clarity, the discomforting uncertainty that each piece generates never fully leaves, it just begins emanating from a different layer, confronting you with a different character. Although it is clear that Camburn forgoes caution at various stages of making, the resulting body of work that comprises this exhibition is far from a reckless gathering. Graphite drawings, found-object sculptures, paintings, and assemblages establish a sense of cohesion that serves to appropriately amplify each violent and unruly piece, the result of an ongoing exchange between Camburn, the images and objects he finds, and the acts that modify and displace them. Each piece that ends up before us — or at least some component of them — seems to have undergone a process of decay or destruction before being repurposed and recomposed. Severe existential adjustments are made to materials that get pieced into these compositions, owing much to forms of decomposition that are either slow accidents of nature, or accelerated via human interaction, but likely some combination of the two. Their current state is a disjointed one, with these new objects presenting themselves as evidence of multiple conflicting pasts forced into a single engagement.