Susan kae Grant's
Night Journey

Through October 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, Archival 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.

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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. -JR Compton

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