Proposal Excerpt: I plan to travel through Turkey to study how pattern and ornamentation evoke the sacred. My project will continue the work I have begun at MICA, which involves uncovering ways in which traditional visual forms can imbue secular imagery with feelings of the sublime and the supernatural.
My current work explores these themes in a contemporary medium and visual language. By photocopying found images, I reference what William Kentridge calls the “infinite archive” that modern technology makes accessible at all times. I create geometric landscapes that form part of a collective unconscious – something removed but also familiar – which mediates our modern idea of nature. Through the act of mirroring these images and stitching them into symmetry and pattern, I reenact practices that artists have engaged in for millennia: weaving, placing mosaics, threading textiles, building formal worlds. Extensive patterning and mingling of geometric and natural lines reveal the hidden geometries that are always present.
Pattern transforms the shadowy world into order, illumination, and sense. The time of modern consumption obscures these formal properties of visual memory; but in Turkey, tradition and religious practice structure living spaces. I want to immerse myself in these environments and understand them through experience.
Complete Proposal and Budget: Zoe Friedman, 2012