Joy Drury Cox, Untitled (Blockbuster Application), 2006, Graphite on paper, 26 x 34 inches
Joy Drury Cox
Please Print Legibly
January 20 – February 27, 2016
Institute 193, Lexington
Repeating series of lines, grids, and boxes drawn with graphite on uniform surfaces might seem like an exercise in nihilism, but Joy Drury Cox’s drawings clearly express an awareness beyond themselves. These orthogonal geometries look all too familiar because they are; they depict the underlying structure of the documents about us, for us, by us that record what happened to us.
“Forms and Applications” presents a series of drawings of low-wage service industry job applications as well as of bureaucratic forms created to catalog birth, death, and a wide scope of intermediate occurrences. From these, Cox has extracted all of the text, leaving us with minimalist, wordless poems about labor, action, necessity, and time. She humbly questions the space, the forms, of forms. “It is my ongoing belief that it is in these often quiet, overlooked moments and spaces that real truth, power, and meaning lie,” Cox says.
Applications for similarly categorized, yet altogether different jobs are all composed within the same standard dimensions of 8.5 x 11-inch paper. How might job applicants respond to the same standard forms and in turn distinguish themselves from others? Does one birth or death certificate justly declare an entrance into or exit from the realm of human life? Such documents are the best means by which we can make an organized account of erratic movements, but can these standard forms accurately account for every unique situation?