Mixed feelings like mixed nuts, a grab bag of options when you already know which one you’d want. Or maybe the labeling is intentionally misleading, and a slinky-snake jumps out of the can when you open it. Sometimes life punches you in the face.

New meaning is revealed as language pivots (it doesn’t matter which side of the door you’re on, if it isn’t attached to a wall). How much deconstruction can an object sustain before it ceases to be itself? And is meaning always between the lines, an intangible miasma made manifest through our collective belief? There is that jolt of clarity when you trip and lose your balance, but catch yourself just before hitting the ground. A kaleidoscopic de-coupling and re-coupling of meaning and form: backing a car into a fence can reveal a fluidity of form concealed within the properly functioning object.

A wrought iron fence, bars on the windows, bars on the headboard – all demarcations of boundaries, objects bearing a force of suggestion. Steel bars signal simultaneously the safety of those within and the maleficence of those without. Zillow recommends the removal of security bars from windows prior to putting your house on the market.

But getting back to beds, are metal slats purely a thing you grip on to? A titillating nod to imprisonment? A counterpoint to the softness of the bedding, of the flesh? A sock on the doorknob means don’t come in. As a child in Soviet Ukraine, I felt guilty and ashamed of my longing for the spiritual comforts of the Eastern Orthodox Church, with its endless beeswax candles, incense, and incantations. This only doubled my guilt and shame over masturbating quite so much, since neither the Church nor polite secular society would approve. Sincerity can be embarrassing, impolite.

Tanya Brodsky (b. 1982, Kiev, Ukraine) earned her MFA from UC San Diego in 2016, and her BFA from Rhode Island School of Design in 2005. She lives and works in Los Angeles. In 2016, she was a fellow at SOMA Summer Program in Mexico City and in 2013 she participated in the Mountain School of Art. Brodsky’s work has been exhibited at CES Gallery, Commonwealth and Council, BBQLA, Elevator Mondays, Visitor Welcome Center, Vacancy, New Wight Gallery at UCLA, (all Los Angeles), SPF15, San Diego; Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego; Bizkaia Aretoa, Bilbao, Spain; and Galeria Alternativa Once, Monterrey, Mexico. Upcoming exhibitions include Privacies Infrastructure, a temporary public art installation in collaboration with Materials & Applications, curated by Aurora Tang and Jia Gu.