A DISTANCING

I walked in the Mohave desert.  Listened to the bees as they hummed and sucked from yellow creosote flowers.  I watched the desert blur by as I drove eighty miles per hour on I-40.  I couldn’t hear the bees.  The Mohave backdropped a science-fiction film I watched from my couch, the familiar recast as alien.  I dreamt the desert, distorted, California pushed up against Florida, the swamp pouring in.  I pulled up photos on my phone.  Digital, long strings of binary, framed and backlit on the little screen, compiled with other places.

Which Mohave am I remembering?

The paintings acknowledge a distancing.  The built environment as landscape, the landscape as construct, the whole of the construct fragmented.  A scattering of attention.  The ruins of human intentions sunlit and wholly glorious in their decay.  Abandoned or half-abandoned and remembered and recorded and replicated and distorted each step of the way.

The body of work skips like the dream.  Fairbanks, Alaska blurs into California Superfund sites.  Historical buildings I’ve walked through mate with Instagram photos.  Hybridized places emerge, white space mimics the frames of our tiny machines.  Pencil marks left in, masking tape, signal the painting as object, mediated, layers away from representation.

The paintings are created in longing, possibly mourning.  Imagining an innocence of vision that might never have existed, rejecting it, recognizing the impossibility of an unaltered connection to place.  The places are there still.  

© 2005-2019 JENNY DAY