Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Self Exam; curator's statement

Many thanks to artist, educator and curator, Dawn Roe for inviting me to install an iteration of SELF EXAM, my daily portrait project, as part of a thing re | sembling a win•dow. Roe also composed a brilliant catalogue for the exhibit which can be viewed (and printed) here. Excerpts from the curator's statement are below.



"The portrait studies of Ursula Gullow take shape as a similarly vast pile....the many hundreds of representations are heavy in their directness as well as their multitude, confronting the viewer repeatedly in a manner that becomes disorienting – with each singular image inevitably melding into its neighbor, ultimately becoming a massive conglomeration."


"Installed as a flattened pile of color copies, the resulting conglomeration forms a taxonomy of self-image, functioning as both archive and diary. The directness of the bust study in Gullow’s reiterative installation of multiple reproductions allows the figure’s gaze to confront the viewer with an uneasy immediacy – a sense that translates back to the artist’s encounter with themselves in the initial moments of depiction, then further transformed via the original study’s removal from its place within the timeline to a reproduction affixed to the wall."


"Gullow’s head and shoulders compositions correlate to conventional expectations attached to portraiture, while other aesthetic choices function in direct opposition to classical traditions. Gullow is almost defiant in her willingness to allow visual distortions to skew proportions, or for particular mark-making strategies or color palette choices to veer into the carnivalesque."


"...the regimented tracking of time evidenced in Gullow’s Self-Exam reproduces the existential apprehension we face with each waking day, and, as a durational exercise, we understand the project as ongoing and potentially endless – lending a particularly entropic feel to the imagery when seen en masse."  ~Dawn Roe, curator;  a thing re | sembling a win•dow


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