RECALLING THE CHIMAERA
The chimæra: a myth, a monster and child of monsters, a dazzling, implausible corpus formed of parts unalike and unamicable. Elemental, untamable, misunderstood, or obfuscating understandability. Furs and feathers, viscera and aetheria. To recall: to remember, to recognize. Bringing into focus that which haunts from the edges of memory. To come back to, to open lines of communication once again. Anamnesis. Recalling the Chimæra includes griffonage, symbiotic organismic collaborations, abecedary illuminations, bestiaries and visual spellwork by three artists whose interdisciplinary practices defy simple categorization, and deify the rhizomatic, the mycelial, the alchemical, and the holographic. The assemblage of works on view summon the traditions of sigildry, spellwork, erasure, calligraphic illumination, guerrilla gardening, biology, psychology, recursive systems, yantras, poetry, labyrinths, embroidery, mediumship, folk magic, and many other pursuits that bridge the above with the below, contain all, and bind nothing. At its simplest, Recalling the Chimaera pursues the aesthetics of complex, polysemic messages, and seeks to present language as a magical question. This exhibition is a ritual, a spell, and likely also a collection of asemic ephemera. The work is nothing more than earth and fibers, slime mold and hammered sheets of metal which allow light to pass through, like stained glass. The artists are devotees to the yellow friend, haphazard sorcerers and cautious Doctors Frankenstein, making a pass at presenting meaning inherent in their material, playfully irreverent of some conventions and deadly serious about the rest of them.
This work was generously supported by grants from the Oregon Arts Commission and the Ford Family Foundation. Read about my specific inspiration and process for this show here.
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