Leaving Piece (2016 / 2018)
“Leaving Piece” began as part of the collaborative installation “a thing re | sembling a win • dow” curated by artist/educator Dawn Roe, on view from May 20 – June 25, 2016 at the Asheville Area Arts Council. Roe describes the exhibition concept:
Gilles Deleuze posits in the chapter, “The Image of Thought”, from Difference and Repetition, that the most general principle of representation is the “I think”, and that we truly think only when we have difficulty recognizing. The six artists in this exhibition deeply and inquisitively engage with ideas that inform the instigation and realization of their works, leaving behind interpretive prompts to guide the viewer, yet simultaneously embracing a certain illegibility, disallowing any sort of immediately perceivable meaning to rise forth. As individually or collaboratively authored works, each grouping participates in self-reflexive dialogue around methods and modes of representation and reproduction as integral to their being – through such means as repetitive, durational gestures; material transformation and duplication; archival data assemblage and analysis; or directed investigations of image and identity. Yet, as a collective installation, these works form a distinct entity, with combined components reverberating and colliding against one another, where resemblance presupposes recognition, provoking the “I think” of representation.
To address my portion of the exhibition, I am working with the chemigram process — using silver gelatin photographic paper to make what is typically a one-of-a- kind piece based on line, shape, color, and textures rather than on photographic imagery from negatives. By applying an oil-based resist, and then placing the paper in a tray of photo chemistry, the resist protects portions of the paper from going black or remaining white (depending on which chemical is used first.)
A subset of my work focuses on gesture, on symbolic, spontaneous mark-making that I relate to the concept of secret or foreign language. Being that chemigrams are one of a kind, I wanted to play with the idea of how the chemigram can transform by using screenprinting to make the gestural form itself a resist. From here I created more chemigrams to address how the process of reproduction still created unique imagery given the endless variables involved in the chemical process. Given my interest in treating photographs as physical objects, I wanted to sew them together and emphasize their sculptural properties.
The replicated gesture itself for this piece was made in a state of concentration on starting a new chapter of my life in Savannah, Georgia in 2016. In clearing my mind and focusing on the concept of departure, the instinctual mark, as originally created in the framed chemigram, abstractly represents this thought.
A catalog for this exhibition is available both online and in print through this link: http://windowcontemporary.org/appendix.html
This piece has evolved as a site-specific installation in additional venues since its initial showing in 2016. The most recent iteration de-emphasizes the sculptural element of the piece in favor of highlighting the repetition of marks that all symbolize the act of leaving. The numerous variables of the chemigram process provide unending possibilities from the one matrix.