August 30 - October 31, 2009
Galleria is a series of seventeen micro-narratives, told in the form of a portrait gallery, that focus on moments of transition or dawning comprehension.
My work is an investigation of the notion, first introduced by anthropologist Adolf Bastian, that there is a set of narratives or ideas that are expressed in any given culture, regardless of place or time. Bastian divides these ideas into two groups: “elementary gedanken” or “elementary ideas”, which constitute a universal set o themes or questions of the human condition, and “volkers gedanken” or “folk ideas”, which are the specific ways that people will address these themes, based on their culture and environment. This notion has been critical to the development of Jungian and Archetypal psychology, and explains, according to mythologist Joseph Campbell, why the stories and epics of vastly dissimilar cultures are so similar in structure but vary widely in their details. Drawing from the fields of psychology, anthropology, mythology and literature,my work explores the ways in which these archetypal stories perpetuate throughout time, adapting and changing to suit new media and modes of communication, therefore remaining relevant to contemporary audiences while remaining eternally the same.
Of particular interest to me is the narrative occurrence that Campbell titles the “Crossing of the Threshold”- the point in a story at which the protagonist first makes the transition between the world of the familiar and the world of the unknown. There is a curious attraction to such a location-event, the crux point, the exact moment of transition. The Threshold represents a sort of limbo or in-between space. On the one hand is the familiar, secure and comfortable, but with the danger of stagnation and decay. On the other is the unknown, exciting and new, but potentially fraught with unforeseen dangers.
For the barest of moments one is caught between these two in a state of suspension: imagine Jack, of the English fairy-tale Jack and the Beanstalk, paralyzed for a moment in mid-climb, caught between his farm down below and the giant’s castle up above. Each remains, tantalizing and perfect, and forever out of reach. It is my aim to take this single and decisive moment and extrapolate it: to transform it from a brief location-event into an entire multifaceted environment. My installation and illustration work aims to construct a mythology around the idea of the Threshold, in order to explore the interactions that take place at the point at which something becomes something else.
- Daniel Evans, 2009