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Area Artists 2009
January 19, 2009 - May 1, 2009
Works by Amze Emmons (Muhlenberg College), Winifred Helton-Harmon (Lafayette College), Rigo Peralta (The Banana Factory Art Center), and Karina Aguilera Skvirsky (Lafayette College).
Reception and Gallery Talk, Friday March 20, 4-6pm
Photography has always been built into my way of seeing things. I am always taking a picture with my mind’s eye. Recording that split second in time when everything seems to fall into place. The new work is an enhancement of that goal, and a concentrated commitment to narrow the focus.
These may be familiar images, yet my intention is to evoke a deeper level of consciousness–a hidden world of exaggerated color and light beyond our everyday experience. Like looking into the bright sunlight and then viewing the world, if only for an instant. I have tried to capture that instant in time, which elicits an emotional response through abstraction- making real the moment when one loses self-consciousness and becomes interwoven with the world around them.
KARINA AGUILERA SKVIRSKY
North·East·South explores the material traces of a traumatic American past in order to initiate a dialogue about the intersection of American history and public space. The project is comprised of three photographic series. The works in this exhibition are taken from the first series which depicts nine lynching sites in the state of Maryland. The second series investigates the markers and crownstones that demarcate the Mason-Dixon Line; and the third series is a group of still lifes that incorporate excerpted articles from primary newspaper sources that describe the horrific details of the lynchings whose sites are pictured. This project began as an investigation into growing up two blocks from the Washington DC—Maryland border, just below the Mason-Dixon Line. By revisiting the familiar places of my childhood, North·East·South focuses on their broader implications as sites of collective memory that paradoxically efface that history by virtue of their banality and daily usability.
My studio practice is built on systems of research; I scan the media-scape for cues, images or phrases that draw connections between human migration, community, mobility, transience and the over-arching politics of architecture. In making, I work at the point where drawing and the mechanical language of print intersect. The images have a sense of magical/minimal realism that is inspired by architectural illustration, comic books, cartoon language, graffiti removal, information graphics, news footage, consumer packaging, instructional manuals and cinematic space/time.
For the past several years my artwork has begun as an investigation of images found in documentary sources, such as the Sunday Edition of The New York Times, on-line news sources, and websites for international aid agencies. I start with clippings depicting the smoking shells of bombed buildings, wreckage left after receding flood waters, tsunami-mangled villages, car bombings, refugee migrations…. Through erasure, drawing and collage, the world of the source begins to change. My media-isolation experiment is intended not to glorify or monumentalize the dystopic events unfolding around us. My interest is in distilling and cataloging the patterns and forms of our daily world through an intuitive editing process. We normally see these kinds of documentary images as topical, disposable, something to process and consume quickly. By sifting through the pictorial evidence of displacement and strife I discover what is hidden in plain view: essential visual elements that let the eye linger and keep the viewer from turning the page.
Photography is my way of capturing time… a specific moment, if you will, documenting life stories of people and events that take place in history.
It is the method that I employ and the tool I use–my language–when I work to transmit or capture an idea through the lens of the camera. I was trained as a painter and sculptor, and most of my ideas come from the images I photograph. Throughout my career, I have always alternated between photography, printmaking, painting, and ceramics.
The series Angels is in ongoing investigation that already has taken me five years. It is about the old cemeteries in New York City, as well as other places in the U.S. and abroad. I am fascinated by the enchanting architecture of cities. I worked with gargoyles in a series called Witness in Time, an investigation of the different buildings in Manhattan.
I am interested in the transition of time, atmospheric changes and in the anthropological “angels” that time has robbed. They are without faces, some without fingers, lost perhaps in a battle against the wind. One can only imagine the transitions of suffering.