The best works often come from the best spaces—those that are haunted not only by the artist but that which holds her or his complete focus. Paintings of phantom carpets, classic nudes interrupted by contemporary devices, atmospheric and alien abstractions; photographs of empty stages and gathering places, of provocative actions, and of transient performances; prints of mnemonic and imploding landscapes; a single channel video as an ambiguous self-portrait; a series of empty, handcrafted felt notebook pages; a specimen workstation; and the eeriest of objects, but also a sort of revelation, a “ghost detector.” What else could be a more suitable device for me to use in this series of workspaces that, at nearly every turn, left me wanting to know more?
The artworks in Speak to Me are not only those that indeed speak to me; they are more importantly those that make me ask the very question, those that make me want to know more. Wassily Kandinsky stated: “Everything has a secret soul, which is silent more often than it speaks.” While I was unable to speak to the artists, I was keenly aware that the works I chose for the exhibition, even in their silence, speak volumes.
Curator of Contemporary Art, Santa Barbara Museum of Art
Juror, Nineteenth Annual Juried Graduate Exhibition