3-hour durational performance with objects, video projection. Beyond the Obvious, Otis Street Art Projects, Mt. Rainier MD
2-hour performance with objects. VENICE INTERNATIONAL PERFORMANCE ART WEEK “Co-Creation Live Factory – Prologue 1”, Palazzo Mora, Venice, 14-16 December 2017. all photos (c) Alexander Harbaugh and Lorenza Cini
Instructions for Participation
Choose an object located on the shelves. Do so intuitively – the first thing that gravitates you.
The Western tradition of philosophy is largely based on logical, cause-and-effect sequences. In his theory of synchronicity, Carl Jung suggested that meaningful events are no less legitimate just because they cannot be explained by causality. These “coincidences” may, in fact, not be coincidences, but like quantum physics have cause-and-effect links that are simply beyond our capacity of knowing.
“I can remember things before they happen” refers to one of Jung’s favorite anecdotes to synchronicity, a conversation between Alice and the White Queen in Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking Glass, in which the queen suggests that memory can work both ways: “It’s a poor sort of memory that only works backwards.” Between the short stories of Paul Auster, accounting real life coincidences, and the novels of Tom Robbins, where objects are attributed properties that allow them movement beyond our normal capacities of observation, Devine gleans the possibility that objects, when properly contained, will become the basis for sensuous communication.
The selected objects for the work's initial performance were based on inquiries into representations of “sacred and personal” with sixteen women. In Venice, the objects were accumulated from other artists during the performance week. Devine presupposes the totemic properties of objects as a basis for an exploration of synchronicity with the viewer. While this kind of object communication is obviously an aesthetic concept in visual art, Devine hinges it within the everyday, with her own body as the exposed medium. Testing the viewer’s comfort with these modes of communication – intimate and vulnerable, irrational and spiritual – the artist anticipates that viewers will find as much reassurance in coincidences with meaning than causal reality without it.