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Madison Brookshire

Threading through all of my interdisciplinary artwork is an insistence on simple means, humble materials, and a modest scale that emphasizes time, attention, and awareness. Binding these diverse works together is the persistent need to distill the work, concentrate its effect, and create an experience aspiring to the emotional complexity and richness of life.

In “Passage,” a collaboration with composer Tashi Wada, symmetrical 16mm films overlap to produce colors, sounds and structures not found in either individual film. Over the course of 13 minutes, twin violin canons create an arc of sound, buzzing with dissonance, as a slowly shifting field of color evolves. The experience invites viewers to engage multiple modes of time and attention.

“’The Casual Drift’ by Mark So” is a 35mm slide installation documenting an ongoing, site specific “performance”–a piece of graph paper hung over a hole in the wall of my studio. Photographing the traces of light on the paper at different times of day preserves these spectral occurrences while also emphasizing the fleetingness and fragility of this encounter.

The “Dedication Drawings” are a series of abstract drawings whose simple, repeated gestures result in shimmering optical phenomena hovering just slightly above the page. Each drawing represents a personal encounter with an artist and his or her work, serving as both a tribute and a record of the effect that person has had on me. This and my next series of drawings use simple strategies relying on predetermined structures to generate compositions that both become objects of reflection and receptacles for time.

I am currently working on a hand-made “film painting” by soaking lengths of 16mm film in acrylic inks and urine, allowing evaporation, dust, crystallization, mold, and more to produce the image. The overworked strips of film–soaked in successive pigments, scraped and then soaked again–result in a moving palimpsest. Many layers and textures are visible at once, each moving with a unique rhythm. Interacting with the course of Tashi Wada’s music, these separate streams of information respond unpredictably, highlighting particular moments and gestures which then fade back into the overall composition. There is an affective quality to the excesses of the imagery and like blues music or certain forms of free jazz, it is both repetitive and ecstatic.