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Shop > Artists' Books

#15271

The Dark Redacted

Artist
Donna Szoke
Writer
Gary Barwin
Price
$10.00
Date
2020
Publisher
Small Walker Press
Format
Artists' Books
ISBN
ISBN 978-1-9990860-4-6
Description

Donna Szőke thoughtfully investigates the fluidity of meaning and presence in her work as an artist of growing national reputation. Rather than elucidating a concept or an experience, she proposes a semi-abstract perusal of collective or intimate issues. Offering a reflection on the evocative instability of the biographical and the personal, and opting for an approach close to autofiction, her work constellates subtle possibilities and its scope defies the limitations of certainty. The artist is a compelling storyteller for whom the quest for meaning and the vagrancies of that search are more significant than plain facts. For The Dark Redacted Szőke proposes traces of a fragile story and never-faltering endurance. Her sequence of images alternates beautifully detailed natural life—a buffalo, intricate vegetation—and minimally sketched-out human presence and personal objects. As a result, her work addresses the viewers’ intuition and sensitivity to the environment.

Szőke’s work is mirrored in Gary Barwin’s text. Without ever becoming too urgent or rapid, his narrative is built on a crescendo and ends as an incantation. A playful style, suggestive wordplays, intuitive associations and magic creations of word-made spaces add to the careful constructedness of the project as a whole and create the impression that an intimate conversation is happening between the narrator and the artist’s persona. At the core is an overwhelming sense of loss reflecting on the power of language or poetics to capture the quintessential paradox of what it is to be human, sentient and cognizant of our own fate. The idea of the ephemeral inveigles Barwin’s prose, which in turn illuminates the tapestry of Szőke’s hand-drawn illustrations. Spare in execution but visually poignant, they are a world into which we eagerly slip if not vanish.

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