fiber art

Untitled

Dana Carter, Untitled, 2012, evaporated salt water on fabric, 6x9 feet

Dana Carter, Untitled, 2012, evaporated salt water on fabric, 6×9 feet, installed at Western Exhibitions in Chicago, IL

We get lured to look closely at an object when it contains a printed image. In this instance, we noticed discolorations, ambiguous lines, and impressions of form and movement, which appeared from a distance and then transformed as we moved closer. Lines shattered into textures, forms became patterns, and wholes became assemblages of parts. In other areas, the opposite happened – fragments merged into wholes. We were surprised to face so many evocations from this untitled sculpture, image, screen, and installation, all at once.

Dana Carter, Untitled (detail), 2012, evaporated salt water on fabric, 6×9 feet

Dana Carter, Untitled (detail), 2012

A horizontal landscape, the black curtain was pleated across the center and fringed with an irregular ruffle of dried crusty salt. Curtains are rarely plain black. The textured and lacy white pattern materialized into a traditional photograph of the ocean hitting the shore at night with foam accumulating in the leading layers of the wave, or sedimentary rock, or galaxy. We moved toward the untitled object, and during the approach there was a simultaneous capturing, and the object cast itself as new. We discovered the tactile, physical appearance as the recorded drying, shrinking, and crystallizing of the salt solution had pulled the curtain into a tension, breaking the image. The tightness brought the night back to fabric used for clothing, like a defective stretched t­-shirt.

This black form invited us through evocation, and then separated us through its presence. It wanted to be identified, though not completely. We desired the photograph of a gentle wave reaching the shore at night. But the crystallized salt on the surface and the damage it had done to the fabric was blatantly flavored of dirty street salt on pants in the city in winter, or the salt stains on concrete walls at a viaduct. The repulsion quickly spun back to the ruffled curtain, stitched with odd rainbow-colored thread out of two pieces of fabric right where the photographic “rule of thirds” might fit. We got too close – the tiny thread tricked us. We wanted to reach and pull back the curtain to find a hidden portal or stage. Vividly, we found ourselves, distant still from the object and from the image it conveyed, separated by its causality.

Dana Carter, Untitled (detail), 2012, evaporated salt water on fabric, 6×9 feet

Dana Carter, Untitled (detail), 2012