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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Ship Drawing at Hauntology

I really enjoyed my recent visit to the Hauntology Exhibit at the Berkeley Art Museum. Although there's currently no online version of the exhibit, one of the most impressive pieces is reproduced in some of the online reviews, and also on Flickr, "Ship Drawing" by Paul Sietsema. Part of a diptych, it's worth seeing in person if you get a chance, not only because of it's size (50 3/4 x 70 in.) but because of the presence of the other half of the diptych. According to Figure 3 : Paul Sietsema, Museum of Modern Art, the work was created by retouching a photograph, copying, and building up layers--the effect of which is enchanting. The work drew me in to examine it closely, yet because of its size, I continually stepped back to take in the whole. It's also a work that has stayed with me, and I hope to visit it again before the exhibit ends.

"Hauntology," a term coined by Jacques Derrida, "is a philosophy of history that upsets the easy progression of time by proposing that the present is simultaneously haunted by the past and the future," according to the BAM website. An interesting concept for museums, historians, and artists.

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