Mary Hood – Artist Statement
In existential mathematics, experience takes the form of two basic equations: the degree of slowness is directly proportional to the intensity of memory; the degree of speed is directly proportional to the intensity of forgetting. - excerpt from Slowness by Milan Kundera, 1996.
For years I had been working with the idea of Silence as a state of mind; exploring the means of bringing order to chaos. In my work I have sought to create a temporal environment for transcending into silence through artists' books, prints, paintings, drawings, sculptures, sound, and site specific installation work. The installations emerged from working with artists' books as a sculptural form and extended my efforts into art as a temporal experience. I sought to deconstruct the intimate nature of the book, the one-on-one relationship between the object and the viewer, and to broaden work's communicative power. Over time my books turned inside out, creating installations where the viewers' experience is singular and multiple simultaneously.
In the year 2000 my ideas turned to the abstract notion of Time, which, like Silence, is purely rhetorical rather than factual in its definition. Although the events of September 11, 2001 did not predicate the change in my work, they did have a powerful impact. For me Time stopped that day, and then it shifted, evidenced by the remarks of Daniel Shore, the political commentator of National Public Radio, when he referred to our recent history as 9/11+1, 9/11+2, 9/11+3. This shift in our abstract notion of Time became a primary focus in my most recent studio work. Through research I came to understand that Time, mathematically and philosophically, is a measure of motion, which is reflected in our experiences and memories. The one point philosophers and mathematicians writing on Time have agreed upon, from Aristotle, to Heidegger, to Hawking, is that Time only exists in the moment. The past and future only potentially exist through memories and ambitions.
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