On Tuesday, June 7, 2023, at 11.30am Joseph Gallivan interviews Sima Familant about the show ‘Between Two Points’ which is on now through October 15 at the Lobby at the Ellen Browning Building at 28th and Division Street. Familant spoke by Zoom from her home in Austin about the concept the line in art, artists taking big chances, and whether art about life, and art about art, are two different things.
This interview was recorded on June 4, 2023, using Zoom video conferencing software and engineered by KBOO volunteer Ray Bodwell. https://kboo.fm/blog/55224
FROM THE PRESS RELEASE:
Between Two Points
May 11 – Oct 15 2023 Between Two Points
OPENS MAY 11TH, 2023
What is a line? What is a dot? We are taught early in school that these concepts are straightforward—that a line is simply “the shortest distance between two points.” or, alternatively, “a row of closely spaced dots.”—but in an increasingly interwoven and overlapping world, does that uncomplicated definition suffice?
In ‘Between Two Points’, a line is envisioned not only as a vector of utility, but also as a conduit for whimsicality, a site for potential and exploration. The line is no longer about creating the shortest distance, it is about discovering what a line can be—the alternative spaces that can be imagined beyond the bounds of convention, and how artists challenge this easily recognized visual form in different permutations, materials, and arrangements.
In Mary Weatherford’s Purple Lights, line becomes light, and disrupts the traditional dialogues of painting; with Daniel Buren’s Tondo N°12, line is rendered weightless and ephemeral via his use of stained glass. The altered light and shadow interact with the space in a dynamic way, transforming The Lobby of the Ellen Browning Building into a shifting installation.
Maya Lin’s Silver Tigris and Euphrates Watershed uses physical line made from discarded photographic paper to illustrate the shifting geography of these two bodies of water. The specific material is a commentary on the entropy of nature: like an image that is captured by a photograph, the sculpture of the river only exists as record of one moment; and as with everything, change is the only permanent fixture.
Jenny Holzer’s Just the Document counters the lyricism of Maya Lin’s linework. It is not about the physical painterly image of the line, instead, it is a line with a purpose. In this body of work, the line of color is used to conceal, to cross out confidential information in the government document, showing the viewer that significant information is not made available to the public.
David Hockney contributes to the exhibition a print from his iconic Pool series, Lithograph of Water made of Lines and Green Wash (1979-80). He is such a master of art craftsmanship that simply a line, in this case, of using a line to articulate rain falling on the pool’s water, says so much, embodying emotions and context along with the visual articulation of rain.
The late John Mason’s contribution to Between Two Points comes in the form of the small-scale sculpture Square Torque. Mason, who passed in 2019, became prominent in the 1950s through his ceramic sculptures that challenged and complemented ideas found in work of the Abstract Expressionist generation. He was known as a master experimenter and craftsman, and is often cited as the main contributor to the “revolution in clay” that elevated ceramic work from kitsch to fine art. His small-scale works are called ‘orbs’; they are made up of ninety-degree lines, fitting together with no beginning or ending, yet always existing between two points.
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Joseph Gallivan has been a reporter since 1990. He has covered music for the London Independent, Technology for the New York Post, and arts and culture for the Portland Tribune, where he is currently a Feature Writer. He is the author of two novels, "Oi, Ref!" and "England All Over" which are available on Amazon.com