accelerating sequence: artists observe time and aging
accelerating sequence: artists observe time and aging
Artists in the exhibition maria artemis michael aurbach susan cipcic lloyd godman e.k. huckaby david ivie elizabeth lide lynn marshall-linnemeier gloria ortiz-hernandez robert raczka barbara schreiber brant schuller shugang wang lisa tuttle
curated by Dan R. Talley exhibition dates: January 29 â€“ March 26, 2005
The Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia 1447 Peachtree Street Atlanta, GA 404.881.1109
curatorial essay When I turned twenty-one, an older friend asked me to speculate on how long I would live (I reckoned 77 years), he then asked what time I started my typical school/work day (I answered 7:30 a.m. – at least that’s the time I tried to get started each day), and what time I generally got to sleep each night (I replied 11:30 p.m. – again, fudging just a bit). He did a quick computation and determined that if my entire anticipated life was compressed into my typical waking day, my twenty-first birthday would occur at 11:42 a.m.1 I’m now 54 and it’s 6:45 p.m. My, how time flies. Obviously, this device stuck with me. In my mid-thirties, I realized it was fast approaching 3:00 p.m., so I began to envision my day as the summer solstice – that way, even thought the clock was ticking, there was still plenty of daylight left. At age 40 (5:00 p.m.), I curated an exhibition dealing with artists’ concepts of the aging process – that project was a fantastic experience, yet I ultimately felt it was too narrow in focus and too demonstrative in execution – I wanted to do something broader and more encompassing. About a half-hour ago, MOCA GA asked me to propose a project and I jumped at the opportunity. From its inception, Accelerating Sequence: Artists Observe Time & Aging2 was designed to emphasize an awareness of the sometimes fast, sometimes slow passage of time and we attempted to incorporate this consciousness directly into the exhibition development process. We invited proposals from a selection of artists who work in a variety of mediums and from a range of philosophical perspectives – all were invited because their work seemed to lend itself to an exploration of the ideas contained in the exhibition premise. While a few of the artists chose to propose pre-existing pieces, most opted to advance ideas for new works. We received 38 proposals and were astounded by the consistent high quality of the projects – a fact that happily complicated the curatorial process. Because of space limitations, regional balance, and logistical realities regarding technical needs and resources, we had to make some difficult choices that went well beyond exclusively aesthetic concerns. While we were only able to realize fourteen projects, we are fortunate to be able to present all of the remaining proposals in an “electronic portfolio” that will be on constant view in the museum’s Education/Resource Center adjacent to the exhibition area. Since this essay is being written seconds before the works are actually installed, some of my impression of the pieces – which are based on the artists’ initial proposals – may slightly misrepresent the actual finished works (as the creative process unfolds, variations and course changes invariably occur). Nevertheless, I suspect the artists’ underlying intentions have remained essentially intact. Consistent with our original plan, Accelerating Sequence presents a complex variety of notions that explore the flow of time and the ebb of aging. For centuries, artists have looked metaphorically at these issues; many have documented their own physical aging process often encapsulating the range of emotions and ideological constructs that situate our awareness of the progression; others have dealt with symbols that suggest mortality and the impermanence of all that we physically know. The artists in this project have added admirably to the progression of these ideas.
Maria Artemis’ contribution brings together several modes of human understanding and experiences of time: from scientific theories embodied in Newtonian physics, theories of Relativity and Quantum Mechanics; to more philosophical, psychological and spiritual understandings embodied in personal experiences of our own aging and the aging of those around us. Her installation combines text, images, movie clips, and sound to examine various time measurement scales and their inter-relationships – especially when they are juxtaposed with the witness of our own passing time. Consistent with Artemis’ prior artworks, this piece is meticulously researched, well-reasoned, and approached from a variety of perspectives that coalesce in an evocative poetic whole. Michael Aurbach’s work for Accelerating Sequence is a commentary on permanence and mortality – especially as it relates to artists and their legacies. Aurbach’s piece is one of his earlier works, Final Self-Portrait (1985). The work serves as a character in a performance conceived and created for our show (fittingly, Final Self-Portrait was included in my previous curatorial foray into this subject). The work is essentially a crate-like coffin with a trailer attached; the interior of the coffin contains a miniature art gallery – all commentary on the baggage we carry through life, including the physical materials of the sculptor. Final Self-Portrait was an important work for Aurbach; it was produced at the beginning of his career and received considerable recognition and exposure. For Accelerating Sequence, the piece will be physically buried in a formal ceremony complete with pallbearers, a priest, and music. In essence, the older artist is burying his younger self – and one assumes, many of the idealized and romanticized notions of what it means to be at these very different life stages. The entire performance will be documented – the resulting materials presented as cycle complete. Susan A. Cipcic’s installation, Reflection, is an arrangement of decorative silver objects collected from family members and thrift stores. Cipcic has altered the objects by applying images that allude to life cycles (moths and butterflies along with their caterpillar and chrysalis stages). The silver objects and their inevitable tarnishing over time are metaphors for the physical dimming that comes with human aging (the root of the word tarnish is ternir, “to make dim”). To varying degrees, exhibition viewers can see their physical reflections in the silver objects; but as time, air, light, and dust diminish the objects ability to reflect, so too, dims the viewer’s ability to perceive their own reflection. While simple in form, the piece’s subtle implication offers a bitter-sweet commentary on the fragility and fallibility of our own physical processes. Lloyd Godman’s work, Timed Lapse, visually fuses images of growing plants with the images of gallery goers observing the process. For the piece, mature plants and seedlings are presented in the gallery behind a clear plastic shield; a small camera mounted on the gallery wall captures shots of gallery patrons gazing on the plant material. The resulting images are regularly culled and loaded into a computer that generates a compressed time-lapse sequence. As the exhibition continues and more shots are accumulated in the image file, the sequence becomes more accelerated in order to compress the process into a predetermined consistent time frame – more frames are omitted in order to accommodate the increasingly large body of information. Godman’s work closely mirrors the notions implied in the exhibition’s title and provides a commentary on our perception of a predefined segment of time as our relationship to that interval changes. The piece also references the mechanics of memory: as we grow older, each time we call up a memory it generally is a distillation and truncation of the last remembrance of that particular memory.
E.K. Huckaby’s contribution to this project is an ideologically concentrated, deceptively simple representation of a geological feature know as a thrust fault – a condition created when compression forces a break in the earth's crust to move up while an adjacent plane moves down and under. Huckaby’s model, constructed with flakes of dried paint and encased in a Plexiglas cube, is adorned with labels that allude to life’s realizations and the slowly acquired information that one absorbs as part of the aging process. The work can be viewed as a meditation on the magnificent unfolding of the earth’s form and all the complexities that it has spawned. From one perspective, this unfolding is hard fact and observable data; from another, it’s a small slice of the universal mystery on which we speculate during the narrow blink of our own consciousness. In his submission for this exhibition, artist David Ivie summarized his proposed pieces, The Way We’re All Going, as a series of memorial sculptures, all based on objects specifically significant to the people commissioning each work (a tree for one, a flying saucer for another, etc). Ivie intends to produce these small cast objects in limited editions so that the commissioners can use the objects as touchstones to examine their own lives. Ivie suggest some potential applications: vessels to hold a bit of the owner’s cremains; memorials given to family and friends as memento mori; objects to be used in symbolic contexts such as grave markers or as elements in ritual performances (casting them into the sea or simply discarding them depending on one’s degree of sentimentality and cosmological views). In an accompanying “apology,” Ivie states: “the idea of memorials is not intended as macabre sulking, but rather a playful, if also melancholic, musing over our own aging and death.” Avid gardener and artist Elizabeth Lide has proposed a series of “portraits” of lost loved ones depicted in the form of plants – specifically species that have been observed and recorded for hundreds of years and that are still found abundantly in today’s gardens. Lide’s research leading to her pairing of a plant with the personality and memory of a departed has led her to many unanticipated relationships and patterns, drawing her into a more complete understanding and celebration of the lives she experienced and witnessed. Her decision to paint the portraits onto children’s chalk boards is a gesture that suggests continuity and an infinite expansion of life amplified through the memories we transmit to the next generation. In her proposal, Lide comments on the loved ones that she has lost: “(they) will always be with me through memories and influences which I will pass along to my daughter who, in turn, will share stories and memories with her friends and perhaps her own children.” Lynn Marshall-Linnemeier’s work, Miss Sisi’s Box, references the long-view of history – especially as it relates to AfricanAmerican culture. The work is based on informed speculation that few or no elders were present when the first Africans arrived in the Americas. This interruption in the historical continuum (not to mention the trauma of slavery) significantly affected the transmission of tradition and ritual in the uprooted culture (many practices were lost, some were distorted, while others were quietly absorbed). Miss Sisi’s Box examines this cultural transmission of inherited knowledge and wisdom. Visually and metaphorically, the piece revolves around an old trunk – a repository for dolls, toys, rocks and other objects that reflect the intersection of the generations. Through visual story telling, Marshall-Linnemeier demonstrates how the knowledge of prior generations forms the building blocks for subsequent generations; how maturation is an absorption, adaptation, and utilization of this flow of knowledge. In addition to this primary content dealing with the
temporal progression of information, the work’s subtext offers a commentary on cultural healing and the indomitable nature of the human spirit. Gloria Ortiz-Hernandez’s work is a record of her interaction with the passing of time. On first encounter, her graphite on paper pieces appear as rather spare geometric abstractions, however, close scrutiny reveals a web of intricate complexity. In what appears to be a wholly engulfing process, Ortiz-Hernandez applies successive layers of tiny marks of varying concentration to produce the illusion of soft modulation from the white of the paper to areas of almost pure solidity. One imagines that only a totally focused awareness of each stroke can produce such a smooth, even illusion. New Yorkbased critic Gregory Volk, a regular contributor to Art in America, wrote: “(her) methodology is labor intensive, meditative, repetitive to the point of obsessive, and also curiously intuitive.” While not overtly about time, in many ways this work can be recognized as one of the most dedicated records of the phenomena in the entire exhibition. Robert Raczka writes that his work Time e/lapse, is informed by “repetition, or time as daily cycle; linearity, or time as a progression of moments and events; lapse, or those periods of distraction when time seems suspended; discontinuity, when events and ideas render our experience of time as interrupted rather than smoothly continuous; and fear, including fear of aging, fear of death, and fear of disappearance.” Rather than offering visual analogs for these varied apprehensions of time and the complex notions that we recognize as we gaze on its unfolding, Raczka is presenting a series of images, at once disjunct but related. They are intended to stimulate thought and ideas, rather than attempting to illustrate this complex construct. The piece is evocative, giving piques that serve to draw us into a consideration of our often ineffable relationship to an ongoing flow of ideas and experience. Barbara Schreiber’s Tools for Living, an assortment of “preposterously small (1” x 1”) paintings,” offer a humorous aside and wry observation on the inevitable disintegration we all face and the devices and concoctions we use to slow its progress. The images – nose hair trimmers, heating pads, wart removers, etc. – are based on illustrations from the Walter Drake and Carol Wright catalogs that Schreiber perused as a child. Now in the demographic group to which these items are marketed, Schreiber has instructed that the images be installed throughout the exhibition so that they will be “stumbled upon, much the way we stumble upon evidence of our own aging.” These darkly comedic images are a perfect reminder to Boomers everywhere that our deepest fear is reality – we have indeed become our parents. Brant Schuller’s piece – a series of 24 drawings that literally “trace” 24 hours of CNN’s programming – explores the passing of time and the way we often fill that time. Schuller has made similar pieces in the past, created by affixing sheets of vellum directly onto TV screens and tracing, to the best of his ability, the fleeting images that pass as he watches a particular program (a transmutation of play into work). While the previous works primarily focused on entertainment programming, Schuller’s decision to move into “infotainment” for Accelerating Sequence was prompted in part by CNN’s prominent position in the City of Atlanta, and in part by the pervasive nature of the 24/7 news cycle and its relationship to the world it purports to represent. Media abstracts the condition of the world into a start/stop flow punctuated by commercial messages – Schuller further abstracted this flow into a series of essentially start/stop non-representational drawings. By directing our attention in this manner, Schuller is posing some interesting questions about the nature of reality, the nature of media, and art’s current role in the mediation of these endeavors.
Shugang Wang’s work, Sweeping, depicts monks in flowing robes, sweeping the ground with long straw brooms. The arrangement of the 12-inch tall bronze figures in the context of this exhibition is a reminder of the different attitudes that can be assumed in relationship to the passing of time. The work is a reflection on the possibilities of mindfulness inherent in simple actions like breathing, walking, and simple chores. Particularly in the western context of this show, the work can be viewed as the antithesis of how many of us move through the experience of our own existence – rarely reflecting on the “now” of our lives. Historical images of the Bodhisattva with a broom are said to allude to the “endless sweeping away of delusions.” Lisa Tuttle’s work, Translucent Time, presents a visual narrative depicting a woman’s life – from cradle to grave. The work features text, photographic fragments of the woman at various life stages, and transparent images of clocks. Installed near the museum’s large street-facing windows, the piece is altered and transformed as the light of day (and evening) interacts with the transparencies. By creating a collage-like work, Tuttle is grabbing at the essence of how we relate to our experience of time. The work alludes to the impossibility of fully realizing particular moments and suggests that we primarily experience time as remembered flashes of images that are more or less distant as we continue to live our lives (this seems to parallel the way most of us describe our experience of time – very few of us seem to recognize and dwell in the description of the moment). Tuttle’s proposal for Accelerated Sequence was open-ended – partially because she didn’t want to pin herself too much to a predefined path, but also, I suspect, because she was unable to predict what the creative process held for her. She writes that our acceptance of her proposal required a “leap of faith.” Ultimately, everyone involved in this project has made a leap of faith – we all do it daily as we struggle and survive, trying to match the pieces of what we know with the pieces of what we wonder. We all have confronted the existential dilemma. Unless we have unqualified conviction about the hereafter (it absolutely does/it absolutely does not exist), we all carry a load of doubt. We confront time as we are startled by unexpected photographs of ourselves – so much like us yet so different from who we are now. And we all mourn time that has passed as we say goodbye to those we have loved. The leap of faith is required for continuation.
The artists in these galleries and those included in the “electronic portfolio” portion of the exhibition have mapped a variety of routes through our incredibly complex relationship to aging and our understanding of time. I appreciate their willingness to be part of this project and am grateful for their efforts, sensitivity, and creative energies. My sincere thanks are extended to the board and staff of the Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia – especially to President/CEO, Annette Cone-Skelton, a long-time colleague and friend – for support of this project and for giving me the opportunity to further explore these issues. I hope all who encounter Accelerating Sequence will experience a renewed sense of wonder when considering the inscrutability of time and that all will find new references for understanding and appreciating their own aging process. --- Dan Talley
endnotes: 1. To compute your life/day relationship, answer the three questions: How long do you expect to live; what is your usual waking time; what is your usual bedtime. Determine the length of your typical day and convert into minutes. Divide that number by the number of years you expect to live in order to get the number of minutes in one of your “years.” Multiply your age (or any age you’d like to compute) by the number of minutes in one of your “years” and divide the result by 60. This yields the number of hours and fractional hours represented by the age you are computing. Simply add those hours to your wake-up time to get your current time in your life/day. Here’s an example for a 42 year old who expects to live to be 80 years old. She gets up at 7:00 a.m. and goes to bed at 10:00 p.m. Her typical day is 15 x 60 = 900 minutes. 900 minutes / 80 years of expected life = 11.25 or 11 minutes and 15 seconds for each "year". Her current age of 42 x 11.25 = 472.5 or 472 minutes and 30 seconds. 472.5 / 60 = 7.875 or 7 hours 52 minutes and 30 seconds. So her time of day is 7 + 7.875 = 14.875 or 2:52:30 pm. 2. The exhibition’s title alludes to the impression of time passing more quickly as one ages – one year is 5.5% of a 18 year old’s life; it is 1.5% of a 65 year old’s existence.
about the curator: Dan R. Talley is a Georgia native now living in Philadelphia. He is an Associate Professor in the Fine Arts Department of Kutztown University of Pennsylvania where he directs the Sharadin Art Gallery. Talley was one of the founders of Real Art Ways in Hartford, CT (1975), one of the oldest continuously operating artists’ spaces in the country. He served as the first gallery director and later as the president of the now-defunct Atlanta Art Workers Coalition (1977–1980). Collaboratively, Talley and AAWC director Julia A. Fenton evolved the organization’s newsletter into a tabloid newspaper that, with Laura Lieberman as co-editor, became Atlanta Art Papers. The publication later merged with a regional publication, Contemporary Art Southeast, at which time the name was changed to Art Papers. In 1987, Talley became gallery director at Nexus Contemporary Art Center (now The Contemporary). He served as the director of the CCC Forum Gallery in Jamestown NY, from 1989 - 96 and his articles and reviews regularly appear in Art Papers and other publications.
Gazing into a fire or a pond, watching a creek flow, or the tidal waters of a marsh rise and fall, we are reminded that our relationship to time is multivalent. “Science is still struggling to understand what space and time actually are. Are they real entities or only useful ideas? If they are real are they fundamental, or do they emerge from some basic constituents?”[Brian Greene] Illusion or not, we know time through it’s effect in our lives. It is the medium through which all forms, actions and events continually are born, have life and duration and pass away. Thanks to contemporary physics, we can muse about the beginning of time, listen to simulations of the sound the young universe made following the big bang, or watch an animation of the movement of the earth’s continental plates re-enacting the theory of plate tectonic movement over millions of years. But these stimulating and wonder filled ideas about time and space are of a different sort than our everyday experience of living in and out of time. Our experience of ourselves and those with whom we have long term and intimate connections, are informed and enriched by memories gathered over time, and ultimately affect the way we live and find meaning in our lives.
Maria Artemis Quotidian Rift 2004- 2005 Mixed media installation
At times we slip free and experience ourselves as outside the normal flow of time. Our experience is not that of a self-conscious subject acting on or in the world. Our consciousness dilates and we know ourselves to be inseparable from our place and our actions. This installation explores all these layers of association and possibility for meaning in our ideas and experience of time.
Final Self Portrait was created in response to a memorable discussion with my friend James Holmes about those who worry about their ‘artistic immortality.’ We haven’t stopped laughing. My ‘final exhibition’ will be in the presence of icons of western art. The painters get the wall space and I have the floor space. Fame has killed the paintings. Maybe I will be that lucky. The ceremony to bury the work is the logical next step in the life of the ‘Final Portrait’ series.
Michael Aurbach Final Self Portrait 1984- 2005 Mixed media construction
In years past, the realm of dreams informed my artwork and pillow forms emerged as sculpture to convey my perceptions of that enigmatic borderland. At the turn of the millennium, I still pondered what Byron called the “Boundary between the things misnamed Death and existence.” Since that time, the demise of close relatives and friends affected a transition in my artwork, forcing confrontation with the process of memory and the sorting of remains. I became engaged with the indexical quality of objects, often reclaiming and reworking pieces of furniture or other personal possessions of the deceased. Nowadays I haunt thrift stores in search of other people’s cast-off items, transforming materialism these materials in order to release their story-telling potential. While silver is replete in symbolic meanings and has been employed for thousands of years for its aesthetic and monetary value, I’m more interested in its capacity to discolor when exposed to certain elements (especially atmospheric pollutants), and secondarily, in its hard, reflective surface. Passage of time can be sensed in the progressive tarnishing of a polished silver surface. As the word tarnish originates from the root ternir, “to make dim,” its primary definition is one of dulling or destroying the luster of something by air, dust or dirt. Since human aging is a process of dimming physicality, my use of tarnished silver symbolically mirrors this entropic transformation.
Susan Cipcic Reflection 2004- 2005 Mixed media
For several years I’ve been planning an installation centered on the process of tarnish, gathering decorative silver items from thrift stores to add to a small collection donated by family members. The indexical quality of second-hand objects appeals to me more than newly bought, pristine pieces. For the duration of the installation, the viewer’s reflected image will act as part of a mutable composition. But as time progresses and the amount of tarnish on the surface develops. This mirroring effect will diminish until the image areas are obscured, thereby becoming a slow meditation on the passage of time.
Being in my thirties, I have only known a world that has included television. While TV has changed greatly over the course of my life it has provided a means for myself and others to track our existence both culturally and politically. For instance, I was present for both the launching of MTV and the destruction of the World Trade Center. It is estimated that the average American spends 30+ hours a week leading a sedentary life in front of the boob tube. During this time one is inundated by a collage of imagery that in a click of a button acts as a time machine throwing one forward into a fantasy future or back into an idealized past. This manipulation of time has become so common place that through syndication we are able to watch programming that is older than we are without having a clear sense of its original context.
Brant Schuller Tracings: 24 Hours of CNN 2005 Graphite on vellum, TV
I am interested in creating this series of drawings made in the museum as they will serve as a document of the time that has elapsed in their creation plus they will serve as a document of the time that has elapsed in their creation plus they will bring attention to historical time. My â€˜Tracingsâ€™ donâ€™t just observe time, they try to capture its transitory nature by the linear mapping of my sensory responses to colors, lights, shapes and patterns being emitted from the screen.
My artistic practice can perhaps can be best described as conceptual. Having studied painting, photography, drawing and art history in addition to a rigorous course of liberal arts, I have found that a research-based interdisciplinary approach shapes my work. Art is a way of thinking about the world, and my studio Is a place of meditation. Often, I make images based on other images, such as old photographs or illustrations. These are emotional explorations of the feelings and ideas which underlay the original images. For me, the personal is political. The insights I have gained into gender, race and class have all begun from my own experiences. I have always been concerned with the emotional impact of the larger circumstances on individuals. Thematically, I have worked primarily with a feminist perspective. The relationship between women and men is an ongoing source of thought. As someone who grew up in the South, making work which reflects the complexity of that experience has become increasingly important to me. â€Śit is my hope that the work [that I do] engages in conversation with contemporary art practices, and each piece or installation can serve as an interesting site for thoughtful meditation.
Lisa Tuttle Transparent Time 2004 â€“ 2005 Mixed media installation
When the first African Americans arrived in the Americas, more than likely elders were absent from their midst. The absence of elders is particularly important as we come to understand the socialization, assimilation and hybridization of African and Western European cultures and resulting trials, tribulations and triumphs of the people of the African Diaspora. Using a variety of media, this project examines the world of Chiaka, the first enslaved African-American female elder, whose spirit comes to life through the vision and voice of a 12 year old girl living in Dahomey, Mississippi in the 1890â€™s. It is envisioned that this installation will be a journey that will parallel time, layering events and experiences that examine loss and reclamation. This project continues my examination of the lives of forgotten African-American women whose lives have been obscured. Through the use of boxes, which I consider vessels, and traditional African-American storytelling, I attempt to honor these women. Working from a folk art aesthetic, I attempt to acknowledge the presence of these women and enshrining their memory using assemblage.
Lynn Marshall-Linnemeier Miss Sisiâ€™s Box 2004 â€“ 2005 Mixed media
Most events are inexpressible, taking place in a realm which no word has ever entered, and more inexpressible than all else are works of art, mysterious existences, the life of which, while ours passes away, endures. --- R.M. Rilke, from “Letters to a Young Poet,” 1903
Elizabeth Lide Untitled 2004 – 2005 Acrylic on chalkboard
A decade ago, my experiences with death started changing. I have lost people I will always love – friends and family members – at a frequency that has accelerated to a very uncomfortable pace. The sadness that has accompanied these significant deaths has been the most difficult part of my growing older. These people will always be with me through memories and influences that I pass along to my daughter and she, in turn, will share. These paintings, on children’s individual chalkboards were inspired by botanical drawings recorded hundreds of years ago. These historical plants are still grown in gardens today and will continue to be planted, nurtured, loved and passed along. Each “portrait” represents a close friend or family member who has died during the past decade.
I propose[d] an object which appears to be a model of the geologic feature called a trust fault. This refers to the age of the earth in layers of stone and the subsequent changes. â€Śthe labeling affixed to the details on the model speak of the realizations and tidbits of wisdom that one gains at progressive stages of life. The mass of aspects proven true overrides the mass of those found to be false as one gains experience.
E. K. Huckaby Sedimentality 2004 â€“ 2005 Mixed media
At a moment in history when the western worlds population is rapidly aging it is significant that our attention has moved to reexamine what the aging process means. We understand the individual model of self-reflective scrutiny offered by Rembrandt or a van Gogh or a Francis Bacon but a collective experience of the entropy inherent in duration eludes us. It is this state that Lloydâ€™s work seeks to address and explore. -- Donal Fitzpatrick For the aging human memory, where lifeâ€™s new experience creates an ever-growing memory base, memory demands an abbreviated recollection with each new telling. There is the contradiction of expanding periods of time compressed into an incessant time frame. Discarded for the telling, lost through a lapse in memory or completely erased through memory loss, with each new sequence information is dropped from the loop. Unwittingly the audience becomes subject.
Lloyd Godman (installing plants) Timed Lapse 2005 New media
In the same way memory is clouded, obscured or destroyed by time; the growth of the plants are not the subject of attention, but a parasitic vine, which progressively subverts and strangles the clear view of the subject beyond the glass.
Sequence, a group of five drawings, starts with a black square penetrated at the top by a deep diffusion that pulls it towards the light. As the drawing moves from square to square, the darkness is further diminished until the weight of the black completely disappears. This progression from darkness to light is an evocation of the transforming quality of time. As the tone diminishes the black square becomes transparent, as thin as a veil, and luminous.
Gloria Ortiz-Hernandez Sequence 2004 Graphite on paper
Individual memorials culminated in the 19th century. Speaking in broad strokes, it might be said that health advances of the 20th century sought to temper the realities of aging and eventual death. Which is to say, we’ve behaved as we should; attempting to push the boundary of death as far away as possible. We’ve had major memorials such as Lutyen’s Cenotyph in memory of war dead, those for the Vietnam dead, the debated designs for the 9/11 victims, etc. But the everyday commemoratives of dead friends and family have fallen out of fashion. The Victorians wove the hair of the deceased into broaches and designed elaborate ‘private’ tombs. Perfect examples of the latter exist in Paris, where Gericault’s grave is marked with a life size statue of the painter reclining over a relief of his ‘Raft of the Medusa.’ Similarly, a Parisian industrialist and his wife were sculpted in their bed. By contrast, visitors to Edith Piaf’s grave find nothing but a generic stone with her name. Her contemporaries’ graves are similarly ubiquitous. Many contemporary tombstones are simple, rectangular slabs of graveyard granite in keeping with a post-Le Corbusier world. Other grave memorials are cliché horrors (such as; roses badly engraved on a ugly bit of gray granite or the teddy bear incised on a child’s grave). David Ivie The Way We’re All Going 2004 – 2005 Cast bronze filled with bronze
Maybe the idea of creating anything around death is widely considered too morbid; thought of as a sign of weakness,…of giving in. Indeed, funerary monuments are often associated with a ‘gothic’ sensibility of black hair dye, skull kings and adolescent, morbid self-indulgence. To summarize this apology, the idea for memorials is not intended as macabre sulking, but rather a playful, if also melancholic, musing over our own aging and death.
My intention is to give visual, poetic form to some of the more salient ways in which we experience time, aging and mortality. Among those ideas that inform and inspire this piece are: repetition, or time as a daily cycle; linearity, or time as a progression of moments and events; lapse, or those periods of distraction when time seems suspended; discontinuity, when events and ideas render our experience of time as interrupted rather than smoothly continuous; and fear, including fear of aging, fear of death, fear of disappearance. I have chosen to use symbols that are widely understood, while at the same time the specific nature of individual images and the non-logical, non-didactic sequencing should challenge the audience with the way in which the underlying ideas can be apprehended but not unriddled. This piece is meant to evoke ideas, not to illustrate them.
Robert Raczka Time e/apse 2004 Manipulated photograph
My work is an ongoing narration, the story of whatever happens to cross my path. I seldom aggressively seek out material. If my paintings have any political or sociological significance, it is almost an accident, a byproduct of observation. One underlying thread is a sense of alienation. This is not necessarily negative- itâ€™s more the awareness that the whole world seems engaged in the events and activities that are very remote to me. Much of my current work is about food, travel, sex, death and lawns. A lot of it depicts the place between expectation and reality. These paintings were inspired by]items from mail order catalogs and other sources that inspire both nostalgia and anxiety. These items- sensible shoes, gigantic bras, nose hair trimmers, skin creams, heating pads, wart removers- are things that I remember from the Walter Drake and Carol Wright catalogs I leafed through as a kid when I came home from school in the afternoon. Now I find myself in the age group to which they are marketed. I envision[ed] these paintings scattered throughout the exhibition and stumbled upon, much the way we stumble upon evidence of our own aging.
Barbara Schreiber Tools for living 2005 Acrylic on paper
Shugang Wang Sweeping 2003 Cast bronze
works in the exhibition Maria Artemis Quotidian Rift 2004 - 2005 Bass wood, blue stone, water and video 3 x 9 x 12 feet Michael Aurbach Final Self-Portrait 1984 Mixed media 5 x 2 x 12 feet Susan A. Cipcic Reflection 2004 - 2005 Mixed media found objects Variable Dimensions Lloyd Godman Timed Lapse 2005 New media Variable Dimensions E.K. Huckaby Sedimentality 2005 Mixed media 15 x 19 x 19 inches Elizabeth Lide Untitled 2004 - 2005 Mixed media installation Variable Dimensions
Lynn Marshall-Linnemeier Sisiâ€™s Box 2004 - 2005 Mixed media installation Variable Dimensions Gloria Ortiz-Hernandez Sequence 2004 Graphite on paper 15 x 15 inches each
Robert Raczka Time e/apse 2004 Digital prints 20 x 24 inches each Barbara Schreiber Tools for Living 2005 Acrylic on paper 1 x 1 inch each, (30 paintings scattered throughout the exhibition) Brant Schuller Tracings: 24 hours of CNN 1/1/2005 2005 Graphite on vellum 18 x 24 inches each Lisa Tuttle Translucent Time 2005 Mixed media installation Variable Dimensions Shugang Wang Sweeping 2003 Bronze 12 x 6 x 12 inches each
Funding and support for this organization is provided in part by ASV Communications Carter and Associates CGR Advisors Community Foundation Dragon Foundation Federal Home Loan Bank Forward Arts Foundation The John M. Goddard Foundation Greenberg Traurig Jack and Anne Glenn Foundation Livingston Foundation Charles Loridans Foundation LUBO Fund Paramount Business Advisors Poston Communications The Rich Foundation Judith Rothschild Foundation Rouse Company Foundation Sony Electronics SunTrust Plaza and Associates Wachovia Bank, Atlanta Foundation Wilmington Trust XEROX
Additional support provided in part by the City of Atlanta Bureau of Cultural Affairs; the Fulton County Board of Commissioners under the guidance of the Fulton County Arts Council; and the Georgia Council for the Arts through the appropriation of the Georgia General Assembly. The Georgia Council is a partner agency of the National Endowment of the Arts.
ÂŠ Copyright 2005 MOCA GA, Dan R. Talley, Accelerating Sequence: Artists Observe Time and Aging All rights reserved The Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia, Inc. 1447 Peachtree Street Atlanta, GA 30309 Published by The Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia, Inc. Designed by Joan Body and Lisa Dewberry
Catalogue from exhibition curated for the Museum of Contemporary Art Georgia (Atlanta), January 29 – March 26, 2005