Which Walk 0
“Take a walk”
—Yoko Ono, WALK PIECE
and look out
as the broken world
drawn to bits (I am)
deranged iota jot
flakes of fixed
to broach when and where
to find or feel
a finite set with infinite
limitations as when
feast, fetish, or metonymic
gesture connects a personal
system with reference
to civic locality as
versions of themselves,
when what is heard
is seen, gleaned,
recollected, and erected,
defined, becomes us,
bent into position feeling to find
beads balls brass steel
scaled up run out
arrange and play
as we (rapt)
are carried off,
untroubled by resemblance,
guiding principle, or epistemic
framework, though having those,
while making these directed
acts of storage strutted,
glutted, taken up, as I/we
to owned devices,
feel free, imaginary,
and tactile as the shudder
of daily acquisition,
vexed by practitioners,
is thrown up and out
as the poison
presence of each entrance
of nonlife into life
twists loops moves
circles spits and splits
compromised by things
aging in place
as matter hardened to its
constituents is what
we find when we amass and
detach the past of an object
from its fate creating
an elegy for each fact,
used or not, whose provenance,
always one of loss,
rejection, and subsequent
stooping to find (oneself) with
items grounded by chance, labor
or the erasure of same
becomes stuff subject
to words like reality
to what we want:
an engine of past time,
creation, and abstraction
reflects the precision of
collapsed threading through
of everything as everything
found or findable
resolves into action
Which Walk 5
the maid real
“Old Woman, your eye searches the field like a scythe!”
—Robert Duncan, “The Structure of Rime VI”
like a sigh, permitted or not,
these visits to Mira Vista
Field fair farm (or look see
place) which with
the better to incantate as
phrase after praise betrays
the visible day to the visible
night today singing what can you say,
moment by movement, or see
worried, wise, amazed—
heard, herded, heralded, crazed
by this old epithet, rule, and designation
of hags for which read old
women whose presence
absent to some,
purely physical to others, despite being where
and what they/I, are required to be, go, say,
and know noting how
dreamed of mental meeting
protocols in the form of songs and knowledge
combine the known with the read, said,
intoned, and suggested,
along with the berries there, also
red, thorns with which to be bled,
leave one stepping out attired
with gown, crown, and scythe
clearing what has died into
what is born by the poem of the mind
including words not me but mine
while I, menaced by remembered threats,
summon my ways and those of my actual
mother, Mae Belle Reynolds,
to push in and back out while
hatted, masked, cloaked, fraught
being with her (withered) wrought
where belief relief
knowing & going are brought
along with these steps at the feet of which lay
we, reconfigured into us, who
write what is read, said, and
displayed, resolving the “made place”
into the made real day
Which Walk 6
problem of reversible time
“. . . which am I?”
—Rumi, The Essential Rumi
portends to redeem
exigencies of a woman
and man in a van when
our names meant light, knight, air, and ones who fly (are flown) when you,
Sufi, carpenter, botanist, and me, writer, waitress, artist of cards and
fortunes, later lose our clothes on the way to losing our minds and hearts
(mine) in a known place where written as played
a woman much withered, a maid
a maiden with a wand a handsome
maid, a white wand with a peacock of
solid gold on its tip
to the reversible fortunes
of muscle memory and the
illusive person in the poem
including types of knowing as when
The Land That Time Forgot
or trip into symbolic space
whose trace discloses
beauty at intervals as (not)
of mind remain blind to the
transformation of attitude,
and altitude calculable only from
the surface or search image
of a specific person
whose comparative anatomy
comes into play when the algorithm
leads us farther into the past—
but if this is the solution
please explain the bones
in the ghost story of the other
lover or the card games there.
Bring in Propp’s Morphology of the Folktale
and other extinction events.
It was crazy for anyone to try
to cross the Sierras in October.
What happens next as we
decohere among the hominins (despite
the abstraction, attraction, and object lessons)
is anybody’s guess.
Which Walk 7
what and who
A dark day finds
heart’s head hatted
and masked with crime
being read into its head
as descent into the local hell
means taking in the ashy
remains of everything with
each breath a reckoning, each step
the mistake of not sheltering in place
while elsewhere breath
the same head with fresh despair
of the deadly situation where seconds
become minutes then
centuries where the dead lay
with vast fires closing in
but not here or not yet as
trying for a semblance
of thought as active leveraged
expression of fair
talk while reassembling the same
everything in head’s heart
of later air clear for now
though nothing is better
except if it is when
kinds of crime rhyme
what is wrong (but present)
with what (and who) are gone
Are there two lines because there are two feet, hands, eyes? Maybe. This walking and making is a process, a procession. When she called an earlier book Symmetry she meant to dismantle this concept with each gesture. Is this that? she wonders, but suspects it is not—as, falling endlessly forward, she moves through space like a sound or a bird. A need for trust occurs. Balance. Emptiness. You can’t think about every step, but you should, she worries. Situational awareness. A military term. A thing is exact. Or exactly not. Intentional. Intended. Once her project was something like courtly love but now she feels betrothed to her work.
The woman stares at herself in the mirror. She makes self-portraits less because of an interest in self than because she is her only model. She enjoys drawing her wrinkles because they add texture. Me and not me, she is simply a thoughtful arrangement of phrases, lines, and planes—scribbled hair.
—from Which Walks
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Each of my sculptures is composed of a stack of found, commonplace ceramic objects that have been assembled into a vase-like form. These layers of castoff objects form a stratigraphy analogous to that of rock, soil and earth. But, unlike geological materials, these household objects once had a human function: family meals were served on them; they were collected as mementos; or perhaps they served as reminders of important events. Eventually, for whatever reason, the objects lost their value, and what was once cherished became obsolete and insignificant. It is the very forlornness of these abandoned objects that I’m attracted to—even as castoffs they reflect a life, a culture, a moment.
The same kind of artifact provides the raw material for the mosaic of shards that covers the exterior of my vessels. In a sort of reverse archaeology, I smash the whole object and use its fragments to create a Cubist-like skin for the vessel, thereby creating a new form that amalgamates the shattered traces of individuals and families who once possessed these objects. Collaged onto the fragmented surfaces are autobiographical images such as maps from my family travels and experiences. The result is a composite of culture, artifact, and personal history.
I began making these shattered vase forms at home during the COVID quarantine as two-dimensional collages on wood panels. When I was finally able to return to the studio I began to transpose them into three-dimensional bricolage sculptures. During this process I encountered the “Shattered Vase Theory,” a psychological concept introduced by Stephen Joseph in his book, What Doesn’t Kill Us – The New Psychology of Post-traumatic Growth. The theory grew out of a 1990s psychological study of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). In Joseph’s concept, the shattered vase is a metaphor for someone who has experienced severe loss, trauma and PTSD. The essence of the analogy is that we begin as a beautiful vase, intact and lovely. Then tragedy strikes and the once perfect vase is shattered. There is a yearning to pick up the pieces, to glue and reassemble the vase as it once was, but this isn’t achievable. Instead, with some time and reevaluation one can begin to imagine that these shards could be transformed and reassembled into something entirely new and perhaps also wonderful.
This fresh perspective is what psychologists refer to as Post-Stress Growth (PSG), that is, the ability to transform a traumatic experience into a renewed possibility through an acceptance of change. Surprisingly, PSG happens to a fairly large percentage of people who have encountered severe trauma. Evidently, I belong to this group, in that my shattered vase sculptures bloomed from my family’s trauma.
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—images courtesy of Goya Contemporary and the artist—
My art is a conceptual and visual exploration of the intersection of science, technology, and social justice issues defining the age in which we live. Engaged with the political implications of environmental issues, my recent work maps vulnerable marginalized communities suffering the greatest consequences of natural disasters.
Working in glass, silk, and paper effectively extended my visual vocabulary, incorporating textual relief elements to underscore collective negligence regarding climate change, including rapid melting of glaciers and polar ice caps. Climate change has triggered people’s migration from areas affected by rising water and unstable weather. In the USA, Border security policies intensify the social impact of migration, exacerbating unsustainable environmental practices.
Our world is in a constant flux and transformation. The way we communicate our actions’ consequences has been transformed. We once created a tactile object – a newspaper — providing a richly physical interaction made from plant-based paper; today, with the slow death of print media, we interact with world news through digital reporting, easily distorted or manipulated.
I wish to record this change as a call to action to protect both the earth’s precious natural resources and its people, while pointing to the fragile beauty surrounding us. By magnifying the pleasures inherent in natural materials — paper, textiles, and even sand-based glass – my work seeks to remind us of the magnificence and splendor that may be lost if we do not protect the environment.
in Baltimore, Maryland, where she directs Sol Print Studio, an experimental space for artists to develop and refine their printmaking skills.
From 1973 to 1983 Salamé lived and studied in Venezuela. During this time she was exposed to the rainforest, a pivotal experience in her artistic development. As an interdisciplinary artist, Salamé creates work that originates from extensive research of specific environmental and human rights topics. In the pursuit of new ideas, she has conducted intensive field research in the Americas, and Antarctica.
Her work has been presented at multiple venues, Baltimore Museum of Art, Contemporary Museum, Baltimore, MD. Milwaukee Art Museum, WI; Denver Museum of Art, CO; Miami Art Museum, FL; El Museo Del Barrio, NY; The Women Museum, Washington DC; and the Museo de Bellas Artes, Santiago, Chile.
Salamé’s work is represented in private and public collections internationally, including The National Gallery of Art, Washington DC, The National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington DC, The Baltimore Museum of Art. Her work is included in The Contemporary Museum, 20 Years, by Irene Hoffman, Latin American Women Artists of the United States, by Robert Henkes and Latin American Art in the Twentieth Century, by Edward J. Sullivan.
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Fashion is well known as a reliable reflection of cultural trends and historical events. On a personal level, it has become my creative vehicle for exploring and recording life events—my three dimensional diary.
My inspiration arose from contemplating the dichotomy between the perception of women as fragile, delicate creatures, and the reality that most women are defined by resiliency and steely resolve. My work is about women and culture – women throughout history and women in my life. I employ a juxtaposition of extremes such as lightness and gravity, suppleness and intransigence, to convey feminine sensibilities.
Crafted of steel and embellished with flourishes of wire mesh, screening, cut-outs and bits of found objects, the dresses are at once both elegant and imposing. I use steel and various found metals including tin cans and vintage oil cans. Nearly all of the materials I use are recycled. I like the duplicitous nature of steel which can be manipulated to appear feminine and soft while actually maintaining its strength and rigidity—an expression in contrasts and complements. Through the dresses, I am combining opposites to activate harmonious and ethereal beauty.
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I have always been connected to the invisible and visible aspects of human drama, the particular and the universal. Although my paintings and sculptures are my own work, they are not intended to be about me. The subject matter is greater than me as an individual. My studio is like a lab, where space, form and meaning intertwine, shaping and filling my artworks.I have been exploring the Japanese concept “Ma” (間), a concept embedded in our relationship with our space, internal and external, and how we relate one to another one; as well as the interpretation of time and space, pauses and silences, and the emptiness in a space, full of possibilities. This concept MA is the skeleton of my works, where my art starts. These sculptures, mixed media and paintings emerge from a thought, an infinite path with no endpoint, where resolution is impossible. Hope in the light of loss and displacement is my primary subject. The works are fragments of what has been lost, negated, and postponed. Their structures are a form of reparation, a healing tool, tying together absences and presences, sometimes in a meditative form.
In some of my sculptures, I incorporate resin, because of its reflective or opaque property, but I transform it, leaving my own fingerprints, and colors are mainly a tool that reveals presence. In certain works, the observer can see the ghostly effect generated by the reflection created by the mixed media illustrating the transient and mercurial nature of reality. Upon seeing my art, many find that the colors draw their attention before anything else. The story behind these colors is born in the interplay between these colors, but it is not color itself that matters most to me. Rather, the color is secondary, the whole composition makes the work… Colors and shapes are not separated elements, both are an essential symbiosis. When I make an artwork that contains individual pieces, it is always thinking that each piece must belong to the next artwork, creating a work, where all the pieces share the same space; the togetherness is what makes the work.
My work has been evolving and changing every year, incorporating new media and materials. Sculpture and mixed media has helped me to grow, and it gives me the chance to explore pieces rooted in the human condition, past and present social and historic events. In the WWII pieces, for example, the research in getting the letters from WWII has been a long road, it almost took me two years until I started to work.
The base of my art is bringing presence through absence. There are different types of absences: not only physical absence, but also the lack of the fabric that could make us better human beings. All these have created the need to incorporate other elements, according to the sensibility of each piece, like the use of wood, fabric, metal, yarn and paper, besides oil, silicone, etc. I enjoy immensely the closeness with my materials, that intimacy…the tactile and physical connection, too, aids to create a deep connection with space, form and meaning, leaving all decorative items aside, and helps me to concentrate more in exploration, questioning and contemplation. I see the reflections, materials and surfaces as healing presences, making the invisible visible.
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In my practice, by using Micro/Macro levels of observation and intuition, I intend to understand nature, humanity, science, and the threads and patterns that connect them. I mean to acknowledge the interconnectedness between humans and other forms of being without privileging humans. Repetitive mark-making, exploring the materiality of paint and the transparency of each pigment, layering one on top of the other, creates a spatiality that helps me pinpoint zones where the human and the non-human overlap, intertwine and resonate.
Since 2020, I have been experimenting with a 400-year-old formal technique, Reverse Glass Painting, which uses a transparent material to combine reflective light on glass with the subject’s emergence. The surface glass covering the painting is also refractive, absorbing select wavelengths of light but not others. Using multiple layers of glass makes a material conversation of vernacular form and biomorphic organic shapes. Color, Reflection, and Refraction provide the vocabulary.
The trajectories of the reverse glass painting have been part of Iranian history for a long time: This technique arrived in Iran via the Silk Road around the 17th century from Venice. Safavids embraced it, and the Zand dynasty sustained it, but the method prevailed during the Qajar era (1789-1925). During this period, not only did Iranian paintings change as a result of European influence, but also Iran encountered political upheavals: Constitutional revolution; Women criticizing the social and political state of the nation; Iran getting partitioned by foreign forces, etc. Before this era, reverse glass painting was primarily used in interior decorations, but after that, it evolved to be autonomous artwork by individual artists. It reflected the realities of its time.
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I find inspiration in the cycles of destruction and renewal that mark the passage of time. I
am interested in worthlessness and potential, finding meaning in materials that have been
discarded. I am interested in memory and examining the past, especially the potential of
imagination to confuse and create new memories.
My Fictions series of sculptural collages on deconstructed books and magazines are
colorful, densely layered objects that bear the markings of their visceral transformations.
The covers or interiors of these books are collaged, then taken apart and reassembled—
destroyed, then transformed. This process results in works that evoke both deterioration
I imagine that these objects have taken on lives of their own, neglected and ignored stories
pouring out of them and mixing. Some books explode with color, others are eaten away,
ravaged by time. Either documents of the past or reimagined fictions, these objects no
longer communicate what they once did, but now explore realms of remembrance and
projection, nostalgia and evolution. They are invitations to reimagine the past and the
work combines collage, painting, sculpture and found materials to elevate the overlooked and the mundane via transformative processes. Through adding and removing layers of handmade and collected materials, her works harness both destruction and decay to create a sense of potential renewal. Her work has been exhibited in galleries in Genoa, Paris, Warsaw, New York and
throughout the US. Her solo exhibition Mining the Ruins: The Library was shown at Northwest Missouri State University, Maryville, MI in 2019. Andrea is also founder and editor of Cut Me Up, a participatory collage magazine and curatorial project.
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As a visual artist, I am driven by curiosity about what is possible, rather than seeking certainty. By working intuitively and without a preconceived endpoint, I let the work lead the way. The thread that runs through my paintings and drawings is the embrace of the transitory nature of our experiences. While recent paintings have centered on shifting atmospheric sensations, my drawings are a visual manifestation of breath and gesture.
In my search for quiet in an increasingly tumultuous world, several years ago I began a daily practice of sitting in stillness, open to whatever came into view from behind closed eyes. In two recent painting series, Behind Closed Eyes and Where I Find Myself, I’ve gravitated towards the ineffable sensations I experience during this daily period of reflective solitude. Particles of light slowly rearrange themselves across the field, colors shimmer and recede, and there is a never-ending flow between stillness and drama. Having shifted from painting singular images to multi-panel installations, the paintings increasingly reflect the belief that nothing is fixed, and that our perceptions are comprised of a multiplicity of moments.
Since I am seduced by light but also drawn to aspects of formalism, finding a balance between the two keeps the work in a state of tension until each element seems to find its place. The formal structure of the multi-panel paintings allows me to place unique sensory experiences side by side and present them as one. And ultimately, it is the imposition of this structure that gives me the freedom to fix in place that which is impermanent.
In my drawings, my embrace of both transitory and formal concerns is revealed through the interaction between gesture and the field. Attention to the unique nature of the field for each series of drawings grounds me in formal structure. Making the field is a slow and methodical process in which multiple layers of pigmented charcoal are gently rubbed into the surface of the paper. It is only once the field is established that I turn my attention to drawing the lines, an act that is filled with risk and where I feel most exposed.
For me, to draw is to breathe and to breathe is to experience a fullness of self. In this way, my drawings are rooted in the time of their making. Recent drawing series have reflected a dance between line and space — each helps to define the other. Each gesture is a choreography of movements, and once made, the marks may be altered but all that was there remains. While the gestures may be evocative of many things, my drawings depict nothing in particular.
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