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Zelda L. Gordon and Frank G. Johnson, 2002-2017
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Zelda L. Gordon / Frank G. Johnson / dba Studio Z
Albuquerque, New Mexico, 505-344-6102 e-mail Frank e-mail Zelda
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THE COLLAGE AS DREAM... Artist's Statement
The collage as dream, and the dream as collage...
An exhibit of New Works by Zelda Leah Gatuskin
December 2004 at the Art is OK Gallery, Albuquerque
I began keeping a dream journal in the Autumn of 1986. In the first volume (I am now on Vol. XII) I logged several dreams remembered from childhood and adolescence. These dreams had provoked an early awareness of the power and mystery of the mind.
The idea of waking visions and prescient dreams was passed down to me as family legend through my maternal grandmother, who had been raised in Poland in a strictly religious and highly superstitious culture. When I finally decided to work with my dreams in a disciplined way, it was in part to determine if any of my dreams would ever prove to be prescient.
My fascination with the mind spills over into my approach to visual art. How do we see what we see? Do you see the same thing that I do? How does psychology affect perception, and vice versa?
Using magazine cut-outs, I begin my collages with a vocabulary of images familiar in our popular culture. They are recognizable things which I manipulate into unexpected but visually plausible compositions. Isn't this what the subconscious does in generating dreams?
I learned to write, that is I learned the discipline of writing, by keeping my dream journals. Eventually I settled into keeping a daily journal as well. The book Time and Temperature is another sort of collage. It is a blend of observation, intuition and applied study, in words and images. This work, along with the new series of collages, represents a sort of sequel to Ancestral Notes, an earlier collection which also draws heavily on my dream work.
Some specific thoughts about the dreams, and the collages they inspired:
1. Each collage depicts a 'dream theme' and incorporates significant elements of a particular kind of dream that recurs with many variations.
2. I found myself creating compositions that emerge from empty space, the way dream images emerge from the oblivion of sleep...only to disperse back into oblivion, or shatter into wakefulness.
3. The mind (my mind) portrays itself as an architectural setting which I may try to explore, or escape...and sometimes blow right through, with the awareness that I dream. --ZLG