Part of Troika's progression of black ink works, ‘Drawing Together Drawing Apart’ is made by applying water to black ink until the black disappears. The series, along with ‘Small Bangs’ (2013), ‘Horizons’ (2015), and the video installation ‘Time only exists so not everything happens at once’ (2014), are an examination of how the same gesture can provoke opposing effects. Drawing on Troika’s interest in the generative potential of control, the various works reflect on difference and distance, constraint and release, unpredictability and harmony.
In their dualistic nature, the artworks are not what they seem: they are both the various colours that constitute the absolute black and the separated colours of its intrinsic makeup. Following a similar production process to ‘Small Bangs’, ‘Drawing Together Drawing Apart’ is made by painting water continuously between two concentric circles of black ink, so the rings assume both an inward and outward directionality. Although united by the same cause, the edge of the drawing bleeds outwards in a colourful membrane, while its nucleus converges in a concentrated, central blot.
In 2014, the black ink works on paper developed into Troika’s first video-based work to date, ‘Time only exists so not everything happens at once’. The video is a documentation of circles of black ink as they manifests in an array of colours.