On view October 5-November 9, 2017
This exhibit features work by photographer Mary Fashbaugh, in which expectations and limitations of the senses in regard to human interaction are investigated through visual and braille descriptions. As Western culture grows more and more touch-averse, we rely on visual representation to navigate a majority of our communication. Provoked by the loss of a more physical engagement with others and the world around us, the artist explored personal boundaries and through her work questioned the integrity of sight.
Fashbaugh explains, “Humans have a primal longing to connect and share intimacy, which can induce a feeling of vulnerability. Therefore, we also have a conflicting desire to remain disconnected, anonymous, and untouched. I want the viewers to question what true perception and genuine intimacy means.
The glass domes spell the sitter’s name in braille, visually revealing detail that is more magnified than the human eye can experience. The rest of the image is out of focus, becoming more abstract as you move closer. I am attracted to braille for its visual and physical presence. It is a language that few learn to read unless necessary. It is frequently passed up on elevators and in public restrooms, blending in to its surface, ‘visible’ only to those who seek it. It is the only language which requires direct contact with the external world. The usage of this language in my art works as a reference to material connection and the significance of bodily presence.”
Image credit: Mary Fashbaugh, archival pigment print, glass domes, 40 x 27 inches, 2014. Courtesy of the artist.