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no room for hipsters

the occupation of Ashley and Levon

(from a. addair)

In preparation for submitting to the Contemporary Art Center of Virginia’s upcoming show I’ve been thinking about narrative, stories, and language.IMG_6540

I’m interested in the way that humans gravitate toward narrative.   We use stories as methods of explanation, for entertainment, to pass down history, and for instruction.  Stories tell us who we are and how we function within the world.IMG_0016

I remember clearly the day a professor gave me a key to entering into language as I had never known it.   She taught me how to do a close reading of a passage in My Antonia and I discovered how collective imaginations shape entire lifetimes of interacting with and experiencing the world (here I’m talking about equating land with women; perhaps I’ll share more on that at another time).  I had always loved literature, but that day its power shot through by body.  For months, jolted by this discovery, I felt like I was holding onto an electric fence.IMG_6541

I ponder endlessly on this magic, but I always arrive at the question of why.  Why do we insist on connecting things?  On creating stories?  On using metaphors?  IMG_0018

I’m resisting the opportunity to land an answer just yet.

These are the first two paintings toward thinking about the question of why.  They explore the way that images carry multiple stories.  Upon seeing an image, our brain formulates hundreds of facts, references, and connotations.  When any two images are placed alongside one another, the brain attempts to connect them.  And because of our expansive history of culture and our personal bank of memories, we succeed.IMG_6543

You can test that.  Any two things can be meaningfully connected.  If you get stuck, go find an English major.IMG_0017

So heres to the brain, the magic of story and language, and to the mystery that draws us to this ancient expression.


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