pal ∙ imp ∙ sest

/palimp'sest/*

 (An object, place or area that reflects its history)*

2014

Palimpsest is an installation of photographic images,appropriated texts, and vernacular objects that are evocative of history and place.  Library index cards liberated from their original function hold the promise of a new narrative, while the obsolete technology of a defunct typewriter is glorified within an idyllic nature. The typewriter functions as a metaphor for the creative act of writing and ironically the creative act of seeing. Through this installation I pay homage to Virginia Woolf, the innovative 20thc. modernist writer; the contemporary artist/musician Rodney Graham; the 19thc. romantic poet John Keats; the 20thc. theorist Roland Barthes and the 20thc. novelist W.G Sebald.  The typewriter is an embodiment of the role of modernity itself: its beauty competing with its function.  In Poem for Virginia Woolf, a typed ‘shopping list’ belies its emotional context and historical relevance: nothing is what it seems to be.  There is an inherent tension between the written word and its visual counterpoint, between meaning and interpretation.  The word ‘Trauma ’ is seen as if in a rearview mirror partially masking a potentially ‘toxic’ environment, while the artist’s hand invites the viewer to peer through a hand-held ‘lens’ to marvel at the idea of ‘nature.’  A taut piece of disembodied mason’s twine playfully floats through the air, while a glass-topped library case displays everyday objects and postcards conceived as ‘surrogate art ’ in homage to W.G. Sebald. The objects on display offer a glimpse into the identity of a nameless self within an unknown timeline. This new installation maps a small part of my conceptual journey as an artist within the broad themes of identity, memory, and place.

Detail: Image Music Text: Song for Roland Barthes

Detail: Image Music Text: Song for Roland Barthes

Detail from Palimpsest_ Homage to W.G. Sebald.  

Detail from Palimpsest_ Homage to W.G. Sebald.

 

Detail: Library Card Poem

Detail: Library Card Poem

String Theory

String Theory

Nature through a lens darkly  

Nature through a lens darkly

 

 

Trauma

Trauma

Letter to Rodney Graham  

Letter to Rodney Graham

 

Ode to John Keats

Ode to John Keats

Poem for Virginia Woolf

Poem for Virginia Woolf