I've never considered my earlier work as "old inventory." Spoken clearly with the artist's voice, work made in previous decades can gain more meaning in another time. This is how I feel about my artwork in the current exhibition at the Peninsula Museum of Art in Burlingame, CA. The #metoo movement and the Kavanaugh Supreme Court controversy have given this group of artwork from 1996 to 2004 new meaning.
After listening to the entire day to the Judicial hearings I am stressed, worn, torn, mad and angry about the mishandling by the Senate Judiciary committee controlled by old white men exposing their ignorance, incoherence, and insensitivity.
I knew that the photos of the wall quilt titled, "Stitch Care Mend Fold Muse Reach Stress Wear Break Torn" from 20 years ago were not good enough, so I asked my photographer, Philip Cohen, to take new photos. I needed new images. The original photographs were taken at the cusp of the digital age and the pixels from early digital images dated the artwork, far more than its theme and content. The master image was even stored on a format that I can't access. Some kind of supergiant mega-disc brand state-of-the-art digital formatting of that time .... that has since vaporized from the face of the earth.
Having images taken of older work is not about being stuck in the past. No, not at all. This is about how, with time and experience, my standards have continued to evolve. Even styles of documenting art and craft change over time. New photographs can give this work better documentation for a wider audience and fresh eyes.
Digital standards have changed, evolved, improved. This is not unlike the changing social and professional standards since Anita Hill in 1991. The #metoo movement has changed the standard of what was previously tolerated and survived, to a time of visible controversy and action.
This Sunday, Sept. 30, the Peninsula Museum of Art will host a discussion titled,
"Truth and Consequences"
Artists Harriete Estel Berman, M. Louise Stanley, and John McNamara will discuss work in the exhibition in the context of our time.
The event is free.
Sunday at 2 PM – 4 PM
Peninsula Museum of Art
1777 California Dr,
Burlingame, California 94010
P.S. I will compare the old photos with the new photos in another post.
Big things are happening, stay tuned!