Friday, January 10, 2014

PARADE: Thin Sections

PARADE: A Collaborative Installation
Janet Van Fleet: Thin Sections
Riki Moss: Passing Through

On Exhibit at the Living/Learning Gallery at UVM January 13 - February 7, 2014
Gallery Reception and Artist Talk, Thursday, January 23, 5:30 PM

When we think of a parade (or our life's journey) we imagine a beginning and an end, with a fairly straight path between the first and the last points. But if we broaden our vision a bit, we will notice that we are not alone; other people are traveling along with us in the parade, sometimes marching very close by, but then moving away, sometimes disappearing onto unknown other paths and not coming back into our view.

If we broaden our scope again, we see that it is not only other humans parading along with us, but also animals, viruses, and millions of other lifeforms that surround us, each living lives that occasionally intersect with ours.

In this installation my wooden human and animal figures are interacting with Riki Moss's ethereal white paper beings. When she and I set up this exhibit, it was like a dance party, with each of my wooden creatures finding a paper partner with which it connected, often in wonderfully evocative pairings that suggest play, dance, love, and solidarity.

My original intention with this installation was to remove the bases from my figures and suspend them from the ceiling in a kind of curtain, like a thin section in biology or minerology -- a wafer thin slice of a material that allows scientists looking through a microscope to see how and where parts of a whole are connected, information that could not be known by looking only at the outside of the material.

But collaboration, like life, sometimes takes us in new directions, and now I think that the thin sections of the title may be the thin veil of our own skins, the place where I end and the Not-Me begins, that critical synapse across whose tiny gap we must leap to connect with others.

Come and have a look if you can, and join us on January 23.

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