Viewing the American experience through the lens of “spiritual seeking,” Black Ball Projects is pleased to present an exhibition of three artists whose work is in dialogue with searching. Counterculture movements of the 1960’s and 70’s and earlier ones associated with the occult all produced spiritual seekers who strove to redefine the human condition and challenge cultural orthodoxies by looking both forward and backward in time.
Hello, Seekers examines three artists that are engaged with a type of seeking that relates to the individual’s role in experiencing and/or believing in transitory phenomena. Each of their practices fabricates meaning and belief systems from fragments of technology, history, nature and mythology. The resulting work questions the nature of experience in our modern world and is in dialogue with American spiritualism.
Parsley Steinweiss examines photography’s role in the construction of our reality and challenges the notion that seeing is believing. A photograph is, at its most basic level, a record of light, and Steinweiss photographs light phenomena and refractions found in nature. She makes objects that document how the camera physically sees light while also challenging our beliefs and expectations about the images. As with minimal sculpture from the 1970’s or the Light and Space movement, the artworks contain nothing more than their own physical attributes—conveying an aura of autonomy that affects our way of seeing and experiencing objects.
Eric Graham’s drawings and paintings extract small moments from stranger’s everyday life that are familiar to the artist and the viewer. His images are sourced from found photographs taken before his birth (1975) and collected in thrift stores and ebay. From these generic fragments of intimate life, he builds fictional histories and portraits. In adhering to the rule that the imagery must originate before his birth, Graham creates intimate and mysterious narratives that build upon a shared sense of time and an elusive relationship to history.
Amelia Bauer’s work focusing on past alternative religious ideas as well as the occult. She fabricates her own language of meaning from the landscape. This suggests a quintessentially American attitude of self-invention, self-help, and self-realization that are rooted in the 19th century. The artworks are photographic documentation and artifacts that exist somewhere between historical re-creations and a newly invented set of rituals and symbols—a modern day frontier on the constantly changing edge of multiple belief systems.