The Aleph and the Voyage Autour de ma Chambre, an installation by Mary Anna Pomonis, 2013
“In that single gigantic instant I saw millions of acts both delightful and awful; not one of them occupied the same point in space, without overlapping or transparency. What my eyes beheld was simultaneous, but what I shall now write down will be successive, because language is successive. Nonetheless, I'll try to recollect what I can.”
Excerpted from The Aleph by Jorge Luis Borges
The Aleph, a short story by Jorge Luis Borges, takes place in an apartment basement. Within that basement is a God’s eye; an unimaginable image. In one moment the narrator sees everything, everywhere superimposed on a reflective diamond surface. The Voyage Autour de ma Chambre, by Xavier Maistre, is about a mental vacation the narrator embarks upon in an ordinary room. Everything familiar in that space becomes foreign and fascinating under scrutiny. I am fascinated by how both of these stories parallel the lives of a solitary artist locked in the studio, simulating actual experiences through paint.
I create painted mirror portalsthat, like these stories, transgress linear time. The mirrored surfaces place the viewer within the space of making, creating a space of conceptual collaboration between the artist and the spectator. The canvases in the installation are scattered on the ground. From the floor, the canvases operate as furniture in the room, displacing their functionality as illusionistic spaces. The canvases glitter and flash. They project out and are caught up within the reflective surface of the wall. Also reflected in the gridded mirrors is the interaction between the viewer and the paintings on the floor. Each individual mirror in the installation is partially covered in paint, which blocks, then reveals the viewer’s body, thus mimicking the deeper ruminations artists project through their own bodies of work.
|***Everything Must Go***** new work 2013|
I shop at garage sales looking for items that connect me to the seller. I then bring home the items to use as stencils for airbrush paintings. The acquired objects are rendered destroyed through the process of painting, transformed by their engagement with paint into illusive objects that have glowing edges. I am inspired by Man Ray who elevated photography to the level of painting with the invention of the ray-o-graph. Currently I make paintings from the lowest possible of photographic tools, the airbrush. Rather than using the airbrush to touch up blemishes, I am using it to document an aesthetic that is based on the recession in both the economy and in painting. My work questions if there is an aura left in our collective cast-offs and in painting itself. -Mary Anna Pomonis