a multi-media installation of
real and imagined conversations with artists*
In December 2010, I recorded poet, theatre artist and dear friend / collaborator, Clare Reidy talking about Brazilian artist Kika Nicolela’s video Flux. Clare poignantly saw her own personal journey towards death reflected in the video. From this video footage I created the video Clare in “Moving Portraits,” a summer class at the International Center for Photography in NYC in July, 2014. As such, Clare provides the anchor point for Spiritual Journeys, an installation of conversations with a variety of artists, including Clare’s son, painter Dan Reidy, who kindly agreed to talk about his mother and the experience of painting her portrait in the last few months of her life.
For decades Clare and I were in continual dialogue about art. As my art history teacher, she opened my eyes to appreciate Giotto di Bondone, the ultimate artist embodying the “flux” period between late Medieval and early Renaissance art in Italy. Jumping forward to the 20th Century, we had marveled at Josef Albers’ investigations into the shifting interactions of colors in his series Homage to the Square. My Japanese student Hisashi Miki’s gift of a furoshiki featuring an image by Kitagawa Utamaro inspired Clare to write a poem reminding me of my own feminist privilege. Clare and I collaborated on several poetry / photo projects, connecting T.S. Eliot’s objective correlative with Alfred Steiglitz’s philosophy of equivalence, including the artist book A Fugue for See-ers. The appropriated imagery and ideas I have chosen to work with in creating Spiritual Journeys reflect our mutual love of art as both creators and audience in continual conversation.
Spiritual Journeys blurs the lines between video, poetry, book arts, digital collage and art history, as the viewer moves from reading to viewing to listening to ruminating. The installation is also a tribute to every person who ever impacted my thinking and creating. It poses questions that have no simple answers; it provides a space for a meditation on the frailty and resilience of our earthly existence. Please, go ahead, take it all in, then start your own conversation; ask questions, meditate, and appreciate.
*Clare Reidy, Kika Nicolela, Dan Reidy, Giotto di Bondone, Kitagawa Utamaro, and Josef Albers