Driscoll | Babcock
The Driscoll Babcock Press Release states, “A renowned conceptual artist, Bart identifies her tools as the “narrative power of objects, the theatre of installation, and the intimacy of the artist’s book.'” In “Autobiography”, test tubes mounted on the wall are filled with delicate objects and ephemera diagrammed inside a book placed underneath the rack on a pedestal.
Her art follows a similar journey as Joseph Cornell’s shadow boxes. A Wunderkammer at heart, we are distanced from these intimate worlds existence; we cannot penetrate its space because we are blocked by a sheath of glass, and we cannot experience its time because the mementos are archaic. Bart operates as an antiquarian shielding esoteric ephemera in order to preserve its world.
Existing as a time capsule, we realize our love and intrigue for these curiosity cases are because we cannot enter its world and are always set at a distance, allowing our thoughts to reach a space of nostalgic reflection. Nostalgia is a romantic pathos almost lost to contemporary society’s instant cyberworld, where we no longer have to remember or reflect because in a second we can visualize our thoughts through social media posts or internet image searches. Bart creates nostalgia by placing emphasis on the power of objects that discard an Image one can instantly posses and hold forever through a snap of a camera, because her mementos act according to the power of empirical observation and direct personal experience. We may create our own Images of her work, but its power comes from our inability to capture its essence.
I highly recommend this show, which closes today, October 12.
- Maps + Markings: Another Art Roundup (Harriet Bart, William Kentridge, Nathan Carter, Barry McGee + More!) (wordsinspace.net)
- Revering Joseph Cornell. (amonikabyanyuvva.wordpress.com)
- 15 Things to Do in New York’s Art World Before September 16 (galleristny.com)
- Harriet Bart: http://www.harrietbart.com/news.htm