Instances of Time + Points in Space by Allison Campbell

October 27, 2015

OK Art Writing & Curatorial Fellowship

Editor’s note: Allison Campbell is a 2015 Fellow in OVAC’s Oklahoma Art Writing and Curatorial Fellowship program. This writing was completed as a part of the program. The following text supports an upcoming exhibition, details of which are outlined below.

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My past time as a student worker was spent observing art students inside the Fine Arts Library. Silently, they traversed the space. A few retreated to quiet corners for a temporary pause in their day. Others visited between classes roaming through the stacks glancing at the spines of books for inspiration. Some erected towers as they excavated each resource, channeling a frenzied focus and staying for hours. Each student wove a unique pattern that developed across the semesters. When I shelved their returned books, I always wondered how their experiences in the library affected their artwork. When asked to curate a show for the library a number of years later, an attempt to temporarily archive the memories of students seemed an interesting way to answer that question.

Instances of Time + Points in Space is a network of collective memories about a specific space, and its influence on the methods of curation. Each artist is prompted to recall  events, emotions and sensations surrounding their time inside the library. The interpretation of these memories combined with spatial mapping tools visualize the relationship between the library, the artists, and the materials they use in their artwork. The artists participate in curation by using their own processed data as a guide for installation. Intersubjective timelines converge through the reimagining of library setting in the form of installation, printmaking, sculpture and drawing.

Many of the artists arrange objects into patterns to document temporal elements of their lives. The altering of materials  through space and time is a common thread connecting biography and process. Materials originated from animals and plants evolve into archival objects as their connection to loved ones develop. Plastic materials are arranged to simulate the biological organization of memory and processing found in neural systems while highlighting the slow decay of synthetics. While facilitating relationships between artwork and space is nothing new for curating, this exhibit attempts to involve the artists with participatory methods.

The opening reception for the exhibition is on November 13th, at 6:00 pm at the OU Fine Arts Library as a part of the Norman 2nd Friday Art Walk. Words are on display to the public for two months during the Fine Arts Library hours. The Fine Arts Library is on the University of Oklahoma’s main campus inside the Catlett Music Center.

Corresponding with the opening ceremony, Instance of Time + Points in Space includes a digital archive of the interviews at www.instance.space.

For more information about the exhibition and process, please contact curator Allison Campbell at allison.campbell@ou.edu