Louis Marin, in his reading of Poussin, notes that:
the legible and the visible have common spaces and borders; they over-
lap in part, and each is embedded in the other to an uncertain degree.
It is this uncertainty between language and the visible that appears as a constant substratum in Thornton’s works, from the materialities of painting to the technical armatures of cinema, video, and digital transmission. Her early canvases were a kind of painting in potentia, incomplete and incompletable, wherein both grid and structure, gesture and transgression, language and image, disappear in a mutual erasure, an afterimage moving inexorably into white.
Once Leslie Thornton was taken into a room in the facility and shown a pool of heavy water. It appeared to be hundreds of feet deep, and it was very beautiful, like peering into stars. Her dad lifted her up so that she could peer over the edge of the well; at the bottom of the well was an eerie blue glow, called Cherenkov radiation. On the surface of the pool there was a small plastic duck floating.
“…there were a few perfect moments…”: tampering with verisimilitude