Patricia Kelly | Vince Montague

Music:   
Amal Hayati/(You Are) the Hope of My Life by Oum Kalthoum (1965)
Famous mid 20th Century Egyptian singer
Film:      
Red Desert/Il deserto rosso directed by Michelangelo Antonioni (1964)

The film is set in the industrial area of 1960s Ravenna, Italy with sprawling new post WWII factories, industrial machinery, and a much polluted river valley. The cinematography is highlighted by pastel colors with flowing white smoke and fog. The sound design blends a foley of industrial and urban sounds with ghostly ship horns and an electronic music score. This was Antonioni’s first color film, and interpretations of the film range from a critique about a harsh modern industrial culture to showing the beauty of industrial technology and humanity’s ability to adapt to changing environments.

Location:   
Pacific Stock Exchange, San Francisco, CA
A regional stock exchange with a main exchange floor and building in San Francisco. Its history began with the founding of the San Francisco Stock and Bond Exchange in 1882 and the Los Angeles Oil Exchange in 1889. In 1957, the two exchanges merged to create the Pacific Coast Stock Exchange, though trading floors were maintained in both cities.

The trajectory from the playlist to the written/2-dimensional inspiration to the work at Intersection:
Vince Montague: I had to find my way through this playlist. I kept thinking how all these elements came together, and when I sifted through all the material in my mind, I found that a vanquished terrain is really, at its most fundamental level, a lost world. So I started to think about what a lost world is – not some abstraction, but a real concrete place, a universe not necessarily lost in time, but a place uniquely fixed inside the present, one parallel to our own. And from those thoughts I wrote seven missives from members of this lost universe, our vanquished terrain.  Patricia chose one short piece. The journey led me further than I ever imagined, but in the process, I discovered some “vanquished terrain” inside my own artistic soul. What I mean is that each of us – any artist or any human being – desires to recover those ephemeral places and feelings. Perhaps an artist feels this urgency more than the ordinary person. Patricia produced an image which evoked embarking on the voyage and navigating unchartered territory, crosses as life-affirming signs for fellow souls in transit.

Re-interpretation/contemporary expression of the traditional “broadside”
Patricia Kelly: 
Our discussions and exchange brought us back to the broadside as a vessel of communication, one that confronts the audience of migrating souls of the vanquished terrain. Rather than comment on the contemporary application of the broadside, our view came to synthesize the “timelessness” of our concerns, to have our work speak directly as a broadside to the vanquished terrain: an image pasted on the eternal walls of our lost worlds. As a material, we desired to be counter-current to the “paperless” 21st century trend; paper as an ancient technology that until recent times was expensive and treated with respect. Can paper persist despite its fragility?  Will it be treasured in the future?  As artists we speak to contemporary and future audiences.

Artwork:
Egg tempera, pigments, and shell gold/gold leaf 38″ H by 24″ W
Two sheets of Kozo paper of equal size, one on top of the other, free floating, unframed
Under sheet: multiple layers of pigment: cobalt blue, cerulean, indigo, ultramarine light/dark, viridian, malachite etc, floating crosses, shell gold highlights
Over sheet
:  Beeswax encaustic, gold leaf, gold assist – I’m using the beeswax to create transparent/translucent zones so that the underlying crosses are visible. These transparent/translucent zones will contain gold reflections of the crosses underneath.

Additional conceptual thoughts/threads
A broadside is a protean form whether it be an advertisement, a marriage announcement, a sandwich board, a bumper sticker, a t-shirt with a logo, or a picture of a cat on your Facebook wall. The vessel changes but the messages are timeless: the making of images with the human hand, the sorrow of the human heart, and the ephemeral mystery of the beautiful.

Coda
“You never know whose life you’re going to end up in.” – Overheard on the packed #1 California bus on my way home this evening.
 

 

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