Art in General is pleased to announce The Luminists, an installation exploring the nature of vision by Melanie Crean.
Crean based The Luminists on conversations she had with three artists who have lost their sight but continue to make artwork: Alice Wingwall, a photographer; Carol Saylor, a painter turned sculptor; and Tara Inmon, a painter turned writer. They discussed a range of topics, including what vision means to them now that they have no optical sight, how they visualize the world around them in their mind’s eye and how optical influences continue to inform their work. Also under consideration was the process of perception, notions of beauty and how these three artists’ consciousness has been affected by a change in their sensory capabilities.
Each of the three artists Crean consulted with reveals a unique experience of vision. Wingwall, for instance, speaks of how her body’s relationship to space is integral to her creation of a mental image, referencing the mental database she utilizes to access memories. Inmon relates her continuing need to see after going blind, and how she organizes her life through sets of internal visual maps. Saylor speaks about her waking dream life, and the abstract visual patterns—projected by the remnants of her optical nerve—that inspired her to return to her art after going blind.*
Based on her conversations with Wingwall, Saylor and Inman, and in collaboration with composer Paul Geluso, Crean has created a 5.1 surround-sound audio installation to accentuate the visual references brought up in the piece. Additionally, Crean and three collaborators—*Kuni Chang*, Enrique Maitland and Luba Drozd—have created experimental video work inspired by the sound installation that are be presented in programs held in conjunction with the exhibition.
Melanie Crean’s project is part of Art in General’s New Commissions Program, which is made possible by The Institute of Museum and Library Services, an independent federal grant-making agency dedicated to creating and sustaining a nation of learners by helping libraries and museums serve their communities; the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts; and the Booth Ferris Foundation. Additional support has been provided by the National Endowment for the Arts, Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation, Peter Norton Family Foundation, The Greenwall Foundation, Agnes Gund and Daniel Shapiro, Jerome Foundation and George Mills.