The Archive At Hand

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All the art is books. The books presented in this exhibition are at first glance independent from each other. There is photography, print, painting, drawing, hand and print lettering, crochet, fiber work, etc. on into a limited forever. Some pieces (intentionally) push the definition of “book” quite hard. The concepts range from interpretations of biblical text to meditations on calendar cycles to dream documentation to self-obsessed skin collages and more. However, these books did not come into existence one at a time. With a few exceptions, almost all the pieces exhibited were worked on simultaneously. The last one finished (“12Set/The Labours of the Months”) was the first one started in August of 2020. They have been feeding off and into each other since their genesis. As a body, there are two common threads: Isolation and the passage of time. Most of the narratives and images are escapist. While not childish, they’re whimsical, soft even. But Noah’s Ark (“Afloat”) is a story about a life altering cataclysm and weathering the storm with only an immediate few. Self-stalking photography (“Obsess Over Reruns”) walks through living the same day over and over and over, with only a camera to archive it. Making jokes at old secrets (“Isaac”) processes the loneliness of an insecure identity. With greater and lesser degrees of self-insertion, they all can be tied to those two ideas. The works do not name the time they were made during, and yet this body of art is so clearly obsessive, scared, lonely, fantastical, and biting its nails while watching the minutes tick by. Yet the wonderful thing about books is they are open to greater interpretation after being made public. So what do I know?
Thesis completed in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Alfred University Honors Program.
Honors thesis, Books, Art, Isolation, Time, Escapism