"When your back's up against the wall, it means everything's in front of you."
Roth borrows a line from his performance days to aptly describe the contemplative underpinnings of the Plank-Lever Series.
With the planet's imperiled viability in frightening focus, it can feel we are collectively walking the plank to a futureless doom. Still, it is also true that the sun has not yet hit peak light and the heart is a resilient organ. With a shift in application, the extreme place at which we find ourselves - the end of the plank - becomes a lever, the privileged position offering maximum leverage to effect change. It's simple physics, a kind of opportunity by default.
Mark Roth is an East Village-based painter devoted to process and the rigors of oil. He is the creator of TINSQUO.com and, in an earlier incarnation, a central figure in Chicago’s performance art renaissance of the 1980s and 90s.