‘What does it feel like to have lost an entire world?’
Samuel Delany, Stars in My Pocket Like Grains of Sand
Borrowing this maxim from Delany’s 1984 science fiction novel in which entire universes disappear in the blink of an eye, Dream Journal features the work of 16 artists who explore the void between sleep and wakefulness. The implication of a dream journal as a tool to capture the subconscious is a testament to the impossibility of the task. Even still, the world we do occupy consciously is increasingly defined by a loosened grasp on what is real and what is not.
The works on view consider a world only slightly askew from the one we know, and the futility of harnessing the power of our subconscious. These waking fever dreams are most candidly examined in works utilizing AI technology (Charlie Engman) or dissonant audio-visual installations (Jordan Strafer), and feel as pressing as ever in works rendered in traditional mediums (Łukasz Stokłosa, Phillip Gabriel, Ian Faden) aiming to express the complexity of our shared lived experiences.
Artists from every generation have confronted the daunting and seemingly endless task of recalibrating their understanding of the world around them in real time. While our perception that the world as we know it is constantly collapsing in on itself is not inaccurate, it is also not new, as illustrated by works dating back to the 1960’s and 70’s (Alina Szapocznikow, Ken Nevadomi). There is solace and even joy to be found in our collective impulse to zoom out and wonder not only what is real, but what we might possibly generate, rectify or build as we move forward.
The exhibition varies widely in tone — from artists exploring the psychic terrain of domesticity in miniature (Olivia Erlanger), to imagined dialogues with celebrities who have already left this mortal coil (Scott Covert). Formally, materials range from combines of found objects (Brandon Ndife, Brittany Adeline King) to ceramic (Jesse Wine), graphite (Anna Park) and new approaches to photography (Harley Weir, Carmen Winant, Ivan Forde). Each of the works proposes a tangible if fleeting representation of what the world could be as far as the artist is concerned. We have the shared benefit of getting to experience these visions with our feet on the ground and our eyes open.