Susan kae Grant's
13, 2002 at Conduit
The most intriguing exhibition of personal
imagery we've seen in a long time is Susan kae Grant's
superb Night Journey collection at Conduit
through October 13 (The show may get a one-week extension).
Even if you didn't know the images in
these numbered but untitled, duotone photographs were taken from
Susan's dreams, you can see they are, like dreams, ethereally
soft with elusive symbology. Animals and people blend in and
out of focus and apparent, dimensional reality, and much of each
scene is obscurred by a rich, dense fog.
Standing in the middle of the gallery's
big front room, surrounded by these carefully posed, then digitally
manipulated, glass encapsulated fantasies, is like interloping
in someone else's dreams.
The 44 x 22 inch, mostly monochromatic,
Iris Giclée prints look like individual frames from
a crowd of dreamers. There are stories here, but we get to connect
the dots from provocative bits an silhouettes in wispy, distorted
scenarios. We see many fascinating details, but only the psyches
of the artist and her viewers string them together.
To bring the imagery out of her subconscious
into photographs, Grant slept at a University of Texas Southwestern
Medical Center sleep center, where each time she reached REM
(rapid eye movement) sleep, indicating the onset of dreams, she'd
be awakened and asked questions about the imagery she was experiencing.
The gallery has an impressive photo showing the artist plugged
into all the high tech electrodes.
The show originated two years ago at
Dallas' 5501 Columbia
Art Center, where the early images
were layered into billowing, translucent silk scrims hung from
the ceiling, floating like dreams. When the series of duotoned
photographs is complete, there will be one hundred images.