A question that I have mulled over the past two weeks is "Who is The Soothsayer?" I know that it is not me, or at least not me alone. I don't see myself as a Diviner; I think of myself as someone invested in folk traditions and their historical and cultural reasons for existence.
Art, as it has been in the past, is mostly not a folk tradition; it is a tradition of production for a religion or the Wealthy. Folk traditions do make their way into museums and galleries via antiquities, objects, and crafts, but almost everything I see in Museums is aimed at things that will stand the test of time, with some care and conservation. In my own experience this is wholly unrealistic. Permanence is a prideful misconception. Things fall apart. This overlaps with spiritual thinking and teaching of impermanence.
I want the Soothsayer to illicit a nuanced view of divination and how we, as people, access a potential structure of being. I do not believe in the divine as a truth, or a Truth. I do think that the divine has more to do with states of being--from emotions to other things that we don't normally comprehend as "real". This work is not a road map to finding answers about experience but rather some vague hints at clues written on a wet bar napkin, text bleeding and reforming into new words with different meanings. There is no dogma, unless it is the multifaceted nature of most parts of our experience.
I think manipulating a space is new and profound. Before things may have been adornment; now, I feel, I have been given access to a broader approach to perception and how our bodies relate to a perceptual image.
I do not think of anything in the exhibition (or in my studio) as junk or debris. All things are a testament to working and thinking in the studio or on the farm. Part of the arranging is elevating materials to a point where they reflect and represent this process of living.
[I am hoping to put together a small exhibition catalogue for The Soothsayer in the coming weeks; it will be available for free here and on my website. Check back soon for more on this exhibition and the catalogue]
|installation view | The Soothsayer | Box 13 Art Space | July 13, 2013|