Multiple Temporalities, Layered Histories
In Quotational Practices: Repeating the Future in Contemporary Art, Patrick Greaney asserts, “the past matters not only because of what actually happened but also because of the possibilities that were not realized and that still could be. Quotation evokes those possibilities. By repeating the past, artists and writers may be attempting to repeat that past’s unrealized futures.” In the information age, the Internet, for instance, provides us an expanded collection of visual information—quite literally available at our fingertips—summoning together aspects of the past and possibilities of the future into a boundless present. Sketchbook Revisions (2014–2015), a series of mixed-media paintings, represents my attempt to communicate the ways in which I experience my contemporary moment constructed from multiple temporalities excavated from my past. This body of work combines fragments of representational paintings created between 1995 and 2003 and nonrepresentational renderings produced between 2003 and 2014. Using traditional tracing paper and graphic color, I randomly select moments of my previous work to transfer and layer over selected areas of already-filled pages of a sketchbook I used from 2003 to 2004. These sketches depict objects I encountered in studio art classrooms and iconic architecture on the campus of McDaniel College, and often incorporate teaching notes. The final renditions of fragmented and layered histories enact the ways that we collectively experience multiple temporalities in the present. Quoting my various bodies of work, Sketchbook Revisions challenges both material and conceptual boundaries that determine fixed notions of artistic identity.
Copyright (c) 2017 Steven Pearson
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