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Susan Silton
 
Exchange
 
APRIL 1 - 30, 2015
 

For the month of April 2015 Proxy Gallery is hosting the installation Exchange by artist Susan Silton.

 

Putting objects and ideas into circulation has long been of interest to Silton.

 

For “Exchange” she blocked the entire fourth wall of Proxy Gallery with a cardboard box of expired Agfa photo paper given to her by the gallery owner, with the name Sekula and the date1986 hand-printed on it.  A peephole allows the viewer to look inside the gallery and read a hand-written message that interrogates the identity of the viewer and highlights the importance of writing—not speaking—a communication that normally relies on voice recognition. The viewer then is in the position to mentally answer the question thus becoming aware of their own subjectivity and also questioning the question. This interrogation of identity is not unlike a computer asking for a password before it lets us in, something that galleries do not normally ask of viewers.

 

The theme of voice or its absence, its corporeality and relation to identity has also been a significant motif that traverses this and other works of Silton’s.

 

The implied exchange between the two sides of the peephole emphasize the interiority of the box, the voice silent or silenced. The same and different become entangled in multifaceted levels of exchange: foremost is the fact of receiving the AGFA box and  giving the box back embedded in another box, the Proxy Gallery. The cardboard box looms gigantic in blocking the contents of the gallery, but it stands for both packaging and content of the exhibition. The disembodied and silent written text activates anew the exchange between box and viewer/reader.

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