Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Annie Buckley

Buckley's interdisciplinary project, "The People's Tarot" is now on view at the Otis College of Design Ben Maltz Gallery along with other work at the Laband Gallery at Loyola Marymount University until December 8, 2013. 

The People's Tarot by Annie Buckley

 In order to understand your practice it's important to understand how many different ways you work as an artist. Your work seems to collide these different genres and change them creating interstitial spaces. Probably one  example is the Love Stories series where you seem to employ the tactics of conceptual art and add the elements of poetry and expression. Could you talk about what your inspiration was for that particular work?

Well, I am happy to hear you see my practice this way! I am interested in working in different media and challenging the boundaries between pre-conceived categories and the concepts these embody. I have never been a fan of labels, even less their implied connotations, so I think this also fuels the impulse to, as you say so nicely, create interstitial spaces. I think this is at the heart of my practice. On the one hand, I fully understand the necessity for categories to shape the formlessness of experience, but on the other, I disagree with this tendency towards binaries that inhabits a lot of our thinking in general and, specifically, about art. I’m more interested in coalescence and hybridity, the places where things come together, overlap, and create new perspectives.

You ask about “Love Stories” and I think that’s a really great place to talk about these ideas. Unlike other projects, I wasn’t specifically thinking about colliding different approaches or disciplines; it just happened within the process. In the show I did prior to the one that included “Love Stories”, also at Jancar Gallery, I had been thinking about the space between the “I’ and the “I” in the sense of interiority and exteriority, the subject with the world and the subject with herself.

Tom Jancar told me he thought of the work as “romantic conceptualism”. I really liked that idea and hearing it freed me up in a way that ultimately led to the new project. I think it’s interesting too that this phrase, a label or category of its own, exposes an underlying assumption we tend to make that work be conceptual or emotional, heady or experiential, as if these were mutually exclusive. Of course, there are wonderful exceptions to this unspoken rule—Lawrence Weiner’s incredible wall texts top my list—but the norm tends toward separating these as distinct approaches, keeping your feelings out of your conceptual practice.

So that was a kind of seed for “Love Stories”. From there, it grows out of a fusion of my longtime practice of yoga and meditation, a study of the overlaps between Eastern and Western views of being, and a desire to write super-short short stories. In “Lost Stories”, I expanded my view from the space between the selves to the space between two subjects, between one and another. The shortest possible distance between two people is love so I started there. I decided to write all the possible endings to the phrase, “They met, fell in love…” in as few possible stories as I could manage and with a minimum of words. For fun—because, after all, they are love stories—I added in that they should rhyme.

It was really fun task to set for myself and provided a set of rules to follow, a structure to play on. Within this framework, I researched to come up with the possible stories and tried to ensure than all potential outcomes were caught up in at least one of the narratives. For inspiration and ideas, I looked at my own life experiences, the lives of friends and family, thought about the great love stories in literature and film, and also read the New York Times wedding section. When I had come up with what turned out to be five stories that I felt encapsulated all the possibilities, I began to photograph the sky over Los Angeles. I used an image of the sky on a particular day, in a particular place, for each narrative. I chose the sky because it is both expansive and specific, just like love. I think it is the connection that feminist theorists refer to as a fluid space between subjects and what Vedic philosophers called a net or web, the ultimate interstitial space.
                            Wing, 2009
                             30" x 40"

You are in a show at Ben Maltz Gallery and LMU entitled "Tapping the Third Realm". Could you explain the premise of the show and what it has been like to work with Meg Linton the curator, as well as your work for the show?

I was really excited both that this show came about and to be a part of it. It is curated by Meg Linton and Carolyn Peter and is the first joint exhibition between Otis College of Art and Design, where Meg is the Director of Exhibitions and Galleries, and Loyola Marymount University, where Carolyn is director of the Laband Art Gallery. It was absolutely great to work with Meg! This was our second project together and both were great experiences. (We worked together previously when I guest curated “Bridging Homeboy Industries” at Ben Maltz Gallery in 2012). One thing I like about working with Meg is that she “gets it”; you don’t have to over-explain or justify because she has a real intellectual/intuitive understanding of art and the issues and assumptions involved. I just met Carolyn and have enjoyed working with her too.

I have never felt that the spiritual or mystical was distinct or separate from the intellectual or conceptual; in a way, mystics are the ultimate conceptualists. But I began to see that this was a significant and thorny division in contemporary art during grad school, at Otis, actually. I won’t speak for the curators, but as I see it, the exhibition includes artists that use or address what have come to be seen as alternative processes in contemporary art over the past several decades, such as mysticism, intuition, and ritual (in an authentic and not cynical sense). I think this exhibition is part of a wave that began over the past decade—I would place its origin in the years just after 9/11—and will perhaps continue to gather power. It doesn’t so much go against a highly conceptual or theoretical approach but reframes it. It will be interesting to see what comes of it, if it is written about and what is said, because the necessity to articulate and defend a position is amplified by a position of rejection or sublimation, which I think has been the case for this kind of thinking in art for some time now. Since I saw that firsthand in grad school, it’s synchronous that this exhibition is taking place at Otis.

This emphasis on the analytical over the intuitive fueled what became my main project in the exhibition, “The People’s Tarot”. I wanted to make something that directly engaged the intuitive, that brought me back to the sense I had making art and writing stories as a kid, that total immersion in the experience of making. I have been interested in the Tarot for a long time—I would characterize my role as a fan—and decided to use its structure as the basis for a set of collages. For each archetype card in the deck (the Major Arcana), I read about the card from a variety of sources, mainly my four decks but I got some other books too, meditated on it, and then created the collage. I did this all in one go because I felt like I shouldn’t start and stop the process or imagine the card ahead of time. For the figures, I used pictures cut from magazines and then turned backwards, in part because I didn’t want any identifying features to point to a person, race, or gender, but also, I liked the element of chance in what was on the reverse.

So I decided to go make a Tarot deck. I guess I wanted to from the start but I was nervous; it’s a big endeavor and I wasn’t sure I had the chops, not for the art and writing, but to translate this tradition and structure. I worked on it for two years. The project consists of 22 original collages, a Tarot deck and guidebook, and print series. The collages, deck and book are on view at Ben Maltz Gallery at Otis and another piece, Fortune Coat, 2011, is on view at the Laband Art Gallery.

The People's Tarot deck is available online as well as prints of the pieces in the show and a companion book. Could you explain the purpose of the companion book and how the cards are to be used?

Well, it is supposed to be available online but I still haven’t sorted out how to make Paypal work on my site. J Eventually, though, one thing at a time. But yes, that is the goal. I was interested in the possibility of art that was affordable and accessible in the sense that a person could hold it in their hands and use it. I think art needs a viewer to complete it and this deck needs viewers/readers to use it and create the panoply of stories that will ultimately comprise it.

At the same time, I am interested, again, in the pollution or clouding of boundaries. Is it a piece of art? Yes. Will some see it as a deck of cards? Sure. Can it be both, and not just in a literal sense, which is an obvious yes, but in a conceptual sense; can we see it as art and at the same time a deck of cards and all that each of these entails? This asks us to define and then question labels we place on objects and experiences: art, product, viewership, meditation, relationship, interpretation, and what else? So this is really interesting to me.

The companion book furthers the accessibility of the deck. I want readers/viewers to have all the tools needed to use and appreciate and use the deck, the art, in whatever way they see as appropriate. The book tells my story with the Tarot; it gives guidelines for how to interpret the cards and do readings; and hopefully it supports the reader/viewer in creating their own stories and interpretations. 

I am a big fan of your book "Psychic Outlaws" which you wrote and published a few years ago. It's now available now as an ebook. I found the premise of the book and the show you curated at the Luckman Gallery with the same title to be haunting. I read the book a few years ago and wrote a review on it for artlurker, and have found myself returning to the story in many different ways. I think a lot about the Meridian, the sense of memory loss throughout the book and the cat? Could you talk a about the book and accompanying show?

Thank you! I am so happy to hear that it spoke to you in this way. And I loved your article on Artlurker, from the playful voice to the insightful interpretations. Well, I have to pause before answering because I could easily talk at length about this project. So let’s begin with your response, and what I was saying about “The People’s Tarot”; in both projects, I am invested in interpretation and expansions: how can one idea (or body, or subject) expand and even shapeshift?

Both of these projects invite and depend on interpretation and participation, often beyond my experience; they begin in one place and have a set of endings that are also, hopefully, openings into another incarnation or set of experiences. When I approached John Souza to create an exhibition with me based on the book, it began to take on a new incarnation. The multimedia works by nineteen artists that made new pieces in response to a chapter of the book comprised one level of interpretation, another change of form; your response, in print on Artlurker but also in your own mind over time, is another level and form of the project, as is that of any other reader who takes it up and engages with it.

I wrote Psychic Outlaws off and on over a period of almost ten years. Its first life was as a screenplay (my first and in all likelihood last) including texts from my journals. Over time, it transformed into a novel and my literal experience was erased, replaced by the surreal psychodrama that unfolds in three parts in the novel, but left a residue of emotion that resonates with my memory of the real. In each section of the book, the same story is told in a different way. I hope it plays with perception and memory, how our ideas define things (people, experiences, etc), how things morph and change form more than we typically acknowledge.

In the book, as you know, the main character, Emily, has only one memory from her childhood. When she gives it away, the rest unfurl like an avalanche. In the second part of the book, she arrives as a place called The Meridian. It is a metaphorical space, an emotional hospital for women that doubles as a hub for transfiguration; as the women undergo treatments called Meridians (consisting of lying on grass under the sky with a guide—a man in a peach colored suit—sits beside them), they are also en route to shifting into animal or insect form. One of the women, Lila, the woman from Emily’s only memory, reveals to her what really happened that day, or at least what she defines as what happened. Lila is simultaneously a blind woman in a mental institution and a wise, psychic cat. 

The book, too, has many forms. It was published by the Luckman Gallery in a lovely edition designed by Hazel Handujano that includes color images of all the works in the show. It also exists, as you note, as an e-book on Kindle with no images. I made this one in part to extend the multiple forms but also because the book at the Luckman was limited to those able to go to the gallery and purchase it. I just put it on Amazon and my website and left it there. I didn’t do any promotion to let people know. In part, I’m not very good at that. But also, I like leaving it open in that way; the story and the project will continue as they are meant to without my guiding or controlling them. I just set it in motion and let it be.

 In contemporary and modern art there is an underlying assumption that the self or ego is the base of all artwork and creative activity? In yoga and meditative practice as traditionally practiced the ego is thought of as the base of all suffering and something to be avoided. Do you think your inspiration from work comes from inside your subjective self or outside of the self, or it a combination of the two spheres? 

Ah, a question after my own heart! These are issues that are very close to my thinking and experience and certainly filter into and inform much of my work. I can give a very short or a prohibitively long answer so I will opt for the short one, or at least will try to. I see these as false divisions; there is no distinction between the mind and the body but they are aspects of an integral whole. Many contemporary writers and teachers in the arena of meditation and contemplative studies call it the body-mind for just that reason. This separation never really made sense to me, even less so since starting a daily practice in yoga/meditation nearly two decades ago. And yet, as your question and the really intriguing exhibition you cite make clear, Western philosophical tradition does posit a split between the body and mind, one that holds a powerful influence in our culture.
Sunshine, 2009
photograph/text 29" x 14"

What has been fascinating to me is to learn that that there are powerfully different ideas about consciousness and the body in different philosophical traditions from other areas of the world. For example, in ancient India, philosophers divined a completely different and equally complex conception of the body and mind. I am no expert but have read a lot about Vedantic philosophy, such as “Ayurveda and the Mind” by Dr. David Frawley and several great books by Dr. Georg Feuerstein. In this tradition, the view of the body and mind is completely integrated. To add another layer, this view is mirrored by contemporary feminist theoretical ideas about the subject, the body-mind, and inter-relationships, or the spaces between one and another, the fluid space Luce Irigaray explores in “The Missing of Air in Martin Heidegger” and, more recently, “Sharing the World”.
So it leads one to consider the context of the original split in thinking about the body and the mind and to question to what extend the patriarchal structure of society influenced it. I would say, quite a lot. But it’s more complicated than that; the same Vedas that originated precise metaphors about the workings of consciousness created one of the world’s most severe and long-lasting hierarchies of humanity. So it isn’t about identifying with East or West, or any other set of binaries, but rather seeking the places where one meets the other.
In short, my inspiration comes from my specific set of experiences as a subjective human being and that is part and parcel to my inclusion in a whole—communally, culturally, societally, mystically, historically, and in other ways.

Thank you, Mary Anna, for inviting me to be part of your interview project and for your really thought provoking questions. 

Thursday, August 15, 2013

McLean Fahnestock

Video Still from In the Offing by McLean Fahnestock

You often talk about your work as negotiating the public arenas of the institutional or political as they refer to deeper human desires that play out more personally. In other words your work looks for personal longings in the archives of a history museum or NASA. Could you talk a little about where the inspiration for that kind of investigation started because it seems to be a pretty consistent thread in your work?

It initially came out of an interest in exposing emotion. I began to play with videos of political figures engaged in interviews with the idea that I could slice them open and show the real person working behind the political character. I then expanded my source to include other public figures that embody an ideal; olympic athletes. It was a short jump to astronauts and then NASA. Space exploration was something that really captured the relationship between human desire for excellence and a government institution. Moving now in to museums and libraries I am still contemplating what makes a historic character and what lies beneath that but I am also investigating the way that those characters are portrayed and their deeds preserved. I am looking at what it takes to make it in to the institution and if the validation of inclusion make automatically those deeds truth.

From the Fahnestock Expedition series

Your work often subtly plays with language and exploits the personal and political connectedness you feel for example, in your recent pieces that depict islands are gold leafed. You seem to be approaching the connectedness between vacation and vacancy. Could you talk about that work and describe the series for me?

From the Good Director Islands series

The series "Good Director Islands" is about the western idea of paradise and the longing that goes along with it. Made of desktop wallpapers found by searching 'paradise' and etched with song lyrics, the works allude to the desire to escape to our own personal island. A popular fiction portrayed as a daydream. The title reveals the personal aspect to this series. My Grandfather and Great Uncle, in their book Stars to Windward, claimed to have discovered an island chain in the South Pacific. Their fantasy became a published reality. But thanks to technology, it has shifted back to fantasy. The coordinates in the book point to an empty spot of sea. 
From the Fahnestock Expedition series
 Your pieces that explore your Grandfather's Fahnestock expedition also seem to go further into that social space of collective memory as it relates to the personal. The resulting images seem almost like spy images taken furtively with a hidden camera in a library, almost as if you are stealing little pieces of your Grandfather and even yourself in the privacy of the museum backrooms. Could you expand on the idea behind the series and some of your experiences relating to the series?

I am at the beginning of a large project based on the three voyages made by my Grandfather and Great Uncle. It is an effort to build a bridge between my time and theirs. Between their experiences and my own explorations. By working with the institutions that they were working with and visiting the places that they visited as well as balancing the more personal side–their lives and families and what happens after the expeditions end. 

When I am in the back rooms of museums I get a rush of discovery. I can understand how it would be easy to get hooked on that and decide to make it your vocation. It is also when I feel most connected to my Grandfather. Being that I can not remove the articles from the institutions, I collect them on site in anyway that I can, I scan documents with a wand scanner, capture sound with a tiny digital recorder and video with an equally small camera. 
Still from Love Sick

Your video pieces, Love Sick and In the Offing seem much more personal than the piece you are most famous for that features the space shuttle blasting off on various grades of film stock gridded rather formally. Your latest pieces deal with antiquated films but they are images of the sea and as the sea line ebbs and flows there is a feeling of the presence of the viewer as a conscious separate eye with a personalized even poetic experience. Can you talk about the differences between these different kinds of video pieces and what you have learned?

I think that because I am dealing with something closer to me, to my family, that I am taking a different approach. The shuttles were about the presenting the entirety of the life of the orbiter and the emotional impact for a whole generation. I used the very rigid and formal grid and set up time as my parameter for the entrance and exit of the clips.  Because I am shifting my focus from working with material that is well known to footage that is not as immediately recognizable I have been considering other ways to make sure that the impact is still there. I am working more on developing the soundtracks and taking a more organic and lyrical approach to editing. 

I have always been interested in presentation of video and now I am looking even more into the technologies and options for my work. How the video is experienced has to be considered by artists and curators alike.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Elizabeth DiGiovanni

Elizabeth DiGiovanni 


on view through June 8
Coagula Curatorial
977 Chung King Road, Los Angeles CA 90012
The gallery is open Wednesday thru Saturday, Noon - 5 PM and by appointment.

Guest Curator: Mario Vasquez

Matthew Carter, Sue De Beer, Elizabeth DiGiovanni, Roni Feldman, Sean C. Flaherty, Francesca Gabbiani, Glenn Kaino, James L. Marshall, Laurence McNamara, Kathleen Melian, Christy Roberts, Center for Tactical Magic

There is a mysterious and compelling show up right now at Coagula Curatorial in Chinatown. SÉANCE features work focused on the occult and supernatural phenomena. I ran into Elizabeth DiGiovanni at the opening and she agreed to talk to me about her pieces in the show and the nature of her practice as an artist. 

 image from coagulacuratorial.com

1. Could you describe your relationship to the group show, Séance? I am curious about your connection to the theme of the show and its relationship to your video, "Now and Then"?

The video in the exhibition was called "Now and Then" and it deals with a phenomena that is referred to a residual hauntings. Many paranormal researchers believe that certain settings can act like a sort of substrate, which retains a “recording” of the events that once took place there. These spirits retrace the same gestures, the same emotions, the same paths over and over. "Now and Then" collects the residue of the spirit realm and traces it's connection to memories, which when stuck on repeat, become repetitive obsessions that become engraved in the non-physical realm as well.

"Now and Then"
Video with sound
3 minutes and 25 seconds looped
Edition of 5 + 2 AP

2. You have been working with the occult, researching different groups. Can you talk a little about the sites around Los Angeles and some of the things you have learned in your research?

The occult has become such a loaded word, but really by definition means "knowledge of the hidden". I have always had a deep interest in mysticism and fraternal orders because I have always been a seeker of hidden knowledge. I was also an anthropology major as an undergraduate so some of my work really is a excuse for me to research a subject that interests me. I am hoping at some point to continue my education and get my PH.D in anthropology once I nail down a topic, which I imagine will somehow relate to superstitions and fringe religions.

Recently, over the course of last year, I attempted to visit as many different mystical locations and institutions around the Southland as I could and to participate in their secret rituals. My objective was not to simply document the events that took place at these locations, but to be participatory, and to seek answers to my own personal questions by trying to look obliquely at the Divine Mysteries. The culmination of this exploration was a photographic project, which was recently included in "LA 2012" at Musee 16 Gallery, an anthropological examination of many different spiritual locations and institutions in Los Angeles during what was thought to be a significant mystical year, marked by the end of the Mayan Calendar.

So, in essence, the spiritual diversity of Los Angeles has really become my medium, whether I am meditating with Guru Shivabalananda in an empty house in Brentwood, going to a Victorian Seance at The Crystal Matrix Center in Atwater Village, or to a Fall Equinox Ceremony at the Rosicrucian Lodge.

3. In addition to making work about supernatural phenomenon, your work also seems to be 
deeply connected to nostalgia and the ephemeral via popular images and music. Can you talk a little about your previous work such as the glitter and doom pieces?

"Glitter & Doom" was conceptually a traveling art show like a touring band, with an East Coast tour in 2007 and a West Coast tour in 2008. It was a two-person show with my friend, artist Jeremy Simmons who I went school with at SFAI. We grew up together in Lakewood, California, a small, post-war boomtown, and cookie cutter community located in the vast suburban sprawl of Southern California. Aside from being one of the first cities planned, as described by D. J. Waldie in his book about Lakewood called "Holy Land", with an abundance of churches, Lakewood is conveniently situated between the bright lights of Hollywood and the glorious fantasy of the " Happiest Place on Earth," Disneyland. Jeremy and I both developed an early love for Heavy Metal, and had a somewhat natural predisposition to the darker side of life. For us, going to metal or punk shows was our religion, we were dedicated to decibels and went there to worship.
Lakewood borders on Long Beach where, back then, a rash of drive by shootings occurred. Because of this we never knew if we were going to see our classmates the next day or not. We would go to house parties to see bands play in Long Beach and were more worried about getting shot than if the police were going to show up to shut things down. One of my videos in the show called "Drive by Metaling" references this time and was a play on the booming bass cars and the drive by shootings we grew up around but brought in my own subcultural interests. "Glitter & Doom" served as an attempt, for Jeremy and I, to rectify our skewed, romanticized, and overly nostalgic views of the world. We are both so nostalgic that we each kept all of our metal memorabilia from over the course of 25 years. But we were then able to turn a lot of it into the show. Growing up in Lakewood reminds me a lot of David Lynch -- on the surface the town is littered with mottos like "Lakewood: Where Times Change, but Values Don't" but underneath and behind closed doors there was a whole other town, hidden. While perhaps not immediately obvious, "Glitter & Doom" was our attempt to exorcise the other side of things.

4. I know that you are working on an artist run gallery space in downtown Los Angeles, can you talk a little about the space and your collaborators?

The space is a storefront in Echo Park on Temple Avenue. Both of my partners, Megan Dudley and Alexa Gerrity are very dynamic women and artists. Alexa, is a graduate from Cal Arts and is a multimedia artists like myself and we are interested in creating a space where things like installations can happen. Megan Dudley and I have both worked at commercial art galleries for many years and after a time you need some creative control as to what type of exhibitions are happening or the gallery business can become a real soulless place. We are self funded so we are slowly getting through initial stages of construction to make the space both conducive as a shared working artists studio and functional as a gallery space as well. We will start with more experimental exhibitions that are event based including performances, videos, and lectures at first and then plan on having guest curators start off the first round of exhibitions. The hardest part is agreeing on a name for the space, it's like naming a band, its a big commitment. And I'm a Sagittarius. My zodiac sign has real issues with commitment.

5. You moved from San Francisco to Los Angeles, how has your work or artistic influences changed since the move?
I am originally from LA but I moved to San Francisco to attend graduate school at the San Francisco Art Institute. My surroundings very much influence my work. In San Francisco, my work was playful and romantic but in LA my work tends to get darker in both subject matter and overall aesthetic.
Film Still, "Wishful Thinking", Elizabeth DiGiovanni

6. Your website is really intriguing both in the way one is forced to navigate the site (the toggle button is a big diamond), what were some of the themes underlying the site development?
I blame my professors at SFAI for this. George Kuchar really encouraged the kitsch side of me and Paul Kos encouraged my francophile obsession. Both led me to creating my own website in 2006. For me, it was really just another art project. I had to learn the code in order to make roll over buttons that would pop up as chandelier gems. This was an extension of my thesis show at SFAI, comprised of an installation of glitter chandelier drawings called "No two chandeliers are alike in Paris". I also drew from other sites at the time that I liked aesthetically, like the Liberace Museum website which had these amazing flash animated curtains that sparkled and would open to reveal Liberace. It was fantastic, I miss that site.
From elizabethdigiovanni.com

7. What new projects are on the horizon for you?
This summer a number of like-minded artists and I are starting our own group to research and discuss secret societies.  Our activities will include field trips to a number of different mysterious and veiled sites in California. It might be a meet-up group that will probably develop into our own fraternal order, of sorts. Also, I will be joining a band with some amazing women musicians and artists. I have always wanted to be in an all female group and I see this as more of a conceptual/performance piece than a steadfast musical venture. Of course, agreeing on names for these groups will definitely be the hardest part.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Eve Wood

Midnight Caesura at Jaus

11851 La Grange Ave. 
Los Angeles, CA, 90025 

by appointment only 

tel: 424.248.0781
email: info@jausart.com

Midnight Caesura 

Featuring: Julie Adler, Tanya Batura, Seth Kaufman, Eve Wood, Jody Zellen

Curated by Eve Wood

Closing Reception: Sunday May 19, 5pm to 8pm

Dates: April 5 to May 19, 2013 by appointment only

1.   You have worked in so many creative capacities, as a writer, an artist, a critic, a curator. In this latest show at Jaus, “Midnight Caesura”, you have wonderfully combined all of your skills. Can you talk a little about how you combine your practices to make the show happen?

 I suppose I think of myself first and foremost as an artist, and that has certainly been my predominant practice for many years, but the idea of what an artist “is” has evolved, out of necessity I think and the changing dynamics of commerce and the way our world is transforming, and it is no longer possible to simply make good work for the sake of itself, but there is, I feel, an inherent narrative that demands we look at things differently – more of inclusive process than one of exclusion, so I wanted I suppose to give back to the community and to these specific artists whom I’ve believed in for many years. There is not enough gratitude or graciousness in today’s art world. We are all in this together after all.  

2.     What is the significance of the title?

Ichiro Irie, the owner and director of Jaus asked that I make the title into a color in keeping with the last several shows he’d put on, so “midnight” is a reference to blue. The work in the show is all about what is unspoken, mysterious, indistinct, and a caesura is a poetic term that means a break or pause in language.

Eve Wood in front of her sculptures at Jaus

3.     How did you select the artwork for the show?

All of the artists in the show are people I’ve admired for years, and I was fairly familiar with their work. I wanted to show work that had never been exhibited before, or at least not more than once, and coincidentally all of the works had that in common. I was looking for a formal sense of mystery, an uncanny quality I guess you could call it; I hope that all the work in the show appear connected but not literally, metaphorically perhaps.

4.     Your own work changed radically this year can you talk about the change from painting to sculpture?

My first love is sculpture and my MFA thesis show at Cal Arts were all sculptures. I have always had a multi disciplinary practice, which I know is not in vogue now, but I make things all the time. When I was with Western Project, I was encouraged simply to paint to the exclusion of the objects, so I moved away from that for awhile. Its about connections, whether in paint or sculptural material, for me the leap is the same.

5.     Jaus is such a beautiful “home gallery” the feeling of the space is very ethereal did the space itself lend itself to particular aesthetic decisions?

I didn’t want the show to appear crowded or overhung, and so I had to really consider the spatial dynamics carefully. I love the natural light from the side windows and that, I suppose, provides its own sense of the mysterious, so I think finally the work was supported by the space.
Six, poems by Eve Wood, Cherry Grove Press 2005

6.     I am a fan of your poetry and the title of the show reminds me a lot of one of your poems. Could you write me a poem? (This is a purely selfish question!) Did you write a poem for the show? I really want to publish a poem here.

I appreciate that very much, but no I didn’t write a poem specifically for the show, however I have been working for the last two years on a book of poetry based on contemporary visual artists and here is a recent one :

Joan Mitchell Gazing Out At A Pasture With No Cows In It

There is death in everything
And celebration.
A hesitant sun
Charts its way across a hazy sky,
Breaks through the clouds like a single narrowing finger,
Barely warms the road ahead.

Even the natural world has opinions,
Takes sides,
Starving the west field in favor of the east,
Though tomorrow things could be different.

Today the cows lift their puzzle-skinned bodies
Out of the landscape.
A lone bull pushes his hind-quarters into the gate,
Leaves a sickening musk there
In place of a kiss.

7.     I have always wanted to do a show based on William Gass’ On Being Blue, I was wondering if it had any influence on you?

I think that book is inspired, the idea that language can be evidenced through a color to heighten and solidify our experience of it, and maybe in some deep recess of my mind I was living for a moment in his “country of the blue.” If only to live there always!