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Susan Silton

The Five W’s

Opening Reception: Fri. Oct. 14, 6-9 PM

The Five W’s

The Five W’s Proxy Paris is a version of Silton’s 2008 work The Five W’s, trimmed to fit specifically in the Proxy Gallery. The work exists as endless copies that viewers are encouraged to take.

Stripes have a long history and complicated if contradictory symbolisms, and Silton has a long history of using stripes in her work, together with images or words. Her cards at first glance look merely like a series of horizontal black and white stripes, but when in motion, or from a distance, they reveal one of five words: WHO, WHAT, WHEN, WHERE, and WHY. These refer to the presumed hallmarks of journalistic accuracy, but also to ideas of critical questioning; of skepticism towards propaganda and lazy reasoning. This work is particularly pertinent in this charged election moment in the US, seeking clarity amid mis-and disinformation.

The stripes impede reading, or the words muddle the stripes; in either case, the viewer has to change positions in order to “get” the word, and, as in lenticular photography, perhaps that movement is an antidote to rigidity and stagnation.

As to the Proxy Gallery, Silton uses it as it was meant to be used: an institutional framework that allows meaning to be distributed and questioned.

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