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| Water Preserves | draft

State of the Art Gallery (SOAG), Ithaca, New York
Wednesday, February 4, through Sunday, March 1, 2009
Opening reception: Friday, February 6, 5:00-8:00 pm

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Call me Ishmael. Some years ago – never mind how long precisely – having little or no money in my purse, and nothing particular to interest me on shore, I thought I would sail about a little and see the watery part of the world. It is a way I have of driving off the spleen and regulating the circulation.—Herman Melville, Moby Dick

When a former student called her attention to the beginning passage of Moby Dick, Jan Kather began to think about water and her upcoming show at State of the Art.  She got a copy of the book and says that “Melville seemed like a kindred spirit, as his sentiments were clearly beyond the obvious fact that water preserves our physical being.”  Kather thought about how essential water has been for the preservation of culture.  “Everywhere I looked,” she says, “I began to notice references to water, whether it be painting, music, poetry, plays, Cornell seminars, environmental reports or news of hurricanes, floods, and heavy snowfall.  I looked back at my oeuvre of photographic expression, realizing water was often my subject, but more often my metaphor for embracing and expecting change.”

Kather initially imagined glass canning jars of water stacked like strawberry preserves in a cupboard.  Deciding that was too literal, she tried projecting video clips of water through the jars of water onto surrounding walls in her house.  “To my surprise,” she says,” the sounds of birds, automobiles, and voices created an unexpected, prayerful ambience.  I knew then that the installation I was planning for February at State of the Art would center around a transformation of the gallery space into a meditation room.”

The result, a body of work titled “Water Preserves” explores our complex and sometimes precarious relationship with water by visually and aurally examining its beauty, magic, terror, and poetry.

Read more….

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