Osm: New Work by Melina Ausikaitis
As kids, our process of interpretation is limited by our vocabulary and experience. My grandparents sold their home after it became difficult for my Gramma Goldie to climb the stairs. They bought a condo that was the nicest home I had ever seen with my own ten-year-old eyes. I decided that the condo was so nice it was impossible that it belonged to my grandparents. The place belonged to some rich people who hired my Dad’s folks to take care of their house when they were out of town. On the weekends my grandparents would have us over and pretend that it was their house we were visiting. I would try to act like I didn’t know their secret so they wouldn’t be embarrassed. I hoped the rich people didn’t come home early. I suppose that the richness of my grandparent’s new home alienated me or made me ashamed. Perhaps, as children, our perceptions are deliberately limited so we are not harmed by the truth of things. Our imaginations can provide an alternate reality alongside an upsetting one. A particular token can turn into an imaginary talisman of protection from real evil. A carefully practiced routine can be a rock of stability in a crazy storm of chaos. As an adult I can still recognize versions of these mechanisms in my functioning. I address these subjects in some of my most recent pieces that will be present at this exhibition. The show is titled, “Osm”, which is the word, “awesome”, excerpted from a five year old’s writing on the wall of his parent’s house; “Silas is Osm”.