If you know anything about my work, you know I spend a lot of time thinking about the meaning of objects. That’s why I made a special point to see a show called “An Architect’s Dream” at the Curator’s Office, a gallery in Northwest Washington D.C. while I was in town. The central idea is the shelf and the objects it may hold, beginning with one of Joseph Cornell’s Celestial Navigation assemblages. Read my review of the show on the Pink Line Project arts and culture blog here.
The works in the show reveal how the meaning of objects can fall along a spectrum. At one end, the object exists in its own right and may refer to its own story and the story of the hands that made and touched it. On the other end, objects can carry with them an assigned, symbolic meaning – either a vague feeling or a specific message.
This has me thinking about the implications of objects in my own work. Often I meditate on objects with very rich histories, of which I know many details. Others are objects umoored from their histories but which give me a feeling of where they may have been or who may have touched them. For me, marbles are the most symbolic objects. It all has me thinking of how I can continue to create complex narratives using variously-gaged meanings in the future.