The “Rooms” section of Gertrude Stein’s Tender Buttons begins:
“Act so that there is no use in a centre. A wide action is not a width.” (63)
I was thinking of Stein’s words and the lines, center, edges, and measurements of my bedroom in Brooklyn, NY. I was also thinking of the ways that this piece might look very different depending on the room. The measuring, cutting, and sewing of each square feels just as important as the thing itself, as well as these sentences:
“The season gliding and the torn hangings receiving mending all this shows an example, it shows the force of sacrifice and likeness and disaster and a reason.” (68)
“A willow and no window, a wide place stranger, a wideness makes an active center.” (77)
“A safe weight is that which when it pleases is hanging.” (77)
I think of Rooms (wool, brown thread) as a work in progress/the first in a series of portable room measurements.
Stein, Gertrude. Tender Buttons. Los Angeles: Sun & Moon Press, 1991. Print.
Emmalea Russo is a poet and visual artist making process-based works. She is the author of they (an artist book made from thread and Gertrude Stein’s Stanzas in Meditation (GAUSS PDF, 2014), and the chapbooks book of southern and water (Poor Claudia, 2013) and CLEAR1NG (Dancing Girl Press, 2013). She lives in Brooklyn, NY.