Between the indefinite and the concrete, there exists an intermediary partner: language. Szymanski has long been interested in negotiating this transitional terrain, knitting together her own mediating systems of color, sound, letter, word, and multi-dimensional forms. Pareidolia takes as its starting point Szymanski’s previous body of work, Songs of Solfège, a series of seven inflatable sculptures made of PVC plastic filled with helium. Songs of Solfège grew out of the artist’s quest to capture the primary element at language’s core: shaped breath. The resulting sculptures float freely around the room, each note of the solfège corresponding to a custom typeface formed of Mylar skin.
Via photographic captures, Pareidolia adds yet another level of translation to this exercise, mapping the movement of each sculpture in relation to its companions— monochromatic paintings Szymanski has made of the same shapes. Szymanski apprehends the fleeting presence of sound by seizing miniature reflections of her painted forms across the sculptures’ mirroring surfaces. Like the psychological phenomenon the term itself describes, wherein the mind perceives resemblances to familiar things (faces, figures or landscapes) where none objectively exist, the unique Cibachrome prints in Pareidolia give form to air, expression to impression, and call into relief the beautiful tension of “language dissolving itself into incommunicable sensation,” as the artist has put it, “language eating itself”.