I have been combing through my notes from Photo Lucida today – in particularly googling several artists who were recommended to me by Leslie Brown at the Photographic Resource Center in Boston.
I started with Robert Hirsh whose installation World in a Jar: War and Trauma includes 800 bottles of found imagery of horrors from the past three centuries. This project startled me. In 2002, when I had the dream that led me to collect and work with bottles – the figure in my dream had told me “you can bottle nightmares.” And so I tried. And I had to stop because I realized I was not psychically strong enough to work with nightmare imagery. My project, Bottle Dreams (one piece is pictured here), became instead about bottling memory, emphasizing its fluid and fragmentary nature. I marvel at the fact that another artist who I have never met pulled through such a similar idea. It affirms my belief that there exists a collective soup of ideas floating around in the atmosphere seeking artists to channel them into form. Very often it is more than one artist that heeds that call, transmitting it into form in his or her own unique voice.
I also looked up the work of Susana Reisman and learned so much from the way she engages her “ambivalent relationship to photography” by creating sculptures out of photographs printed on canvas. Next she constructed sculptures with blank canvas, recording photographically how light interacted with them. I resonate with her shift from making sculptures to making sculptural objects that are meant to be photographed. I love the playfulness and sublime abstraction in her work.
I also explored the historical archive of The Laboratorium, and then admired the beautiful, haunting emulsion transfers of David Prifti. Now, my eyes are full and the mixed media artist in me has been deeply fed.