DOPPELGÄNGER PROJECTS PRESENTS:
On the Nature of Daylight | Katherine Finkelstein & Alison Kudlow
59-33 Linden Street
Ridgewood, NY 11385
September 22 - December 21, 2019
Opening Reception: Sunday, September 22, 3:00 - 6:00pm
“Oh, if I had Orpheus' voice and poetry with which to move the Dark Maid and her Lord,
I'd call you back, dear love, from the world below. I'd go down there for you.
[They] could not prevent me then from carrying you up into the fields of light.”
- Euripdes, Alcestis -
What is a prism? More than a small crystal we chase rainbows with, it is a powerful tool to split unseen energy into waves. Light particles pierce through it, refracting rays of elegantly arranged patterns. A beam of daylight is spliced, spectral color spilling like webbed lace. We smile as we witness this small cleaving of time and space.
And do we smile when our own energy scatters, meeting the prism that divides our souls into the diamond dust of stars?
Katherine Finkelstein and Alison Kudlow approach this existential rumination in their work through observation of our most prominent star: the sun. From birth to death our lives are defined by light. We spend our existence surrounded by and containing multitudes of molecules that set the cycle of creation in motion. Our sun provides the warmth we require to exist on the Earth, but must always persist in its journey to the other side of the sky to set, plunging beneath the primordial depths of our landscape to Hades, warming the deep consciousness of creation. It is then that we experience darkness - until our luminous star pushes through its dark tomb and rises again, transcendent and beaming. It is the first life/death cycle we ever experience, it is the first death we ever know. In contemporary western culture, we often manage loss by thrusting it down into the strata of time, burying it beneath the soil as we walk towards our independent futures -- but perhaps there is another way. We can shine a light through our consciousness and relive in visceral fragments, through flashes of electric clarity, our moments all at once.
Katherine Finkelstein's process has become a profound ritual in honoring the sun and kindred spirits who have moved into the ether. Using prisms and other instruments to distill the light into photograms, Finkelstein's inquiry becomes a totemic practice, invoking the newly reborn sun in hopes that those who have passed to the underworld travel back up with it. These conjured dialogues with the dead are transmitted in the dark, transcribed and folded into layered runic images, confining these extracted colloquies into symbolic renderings of memory - an axis point between this world and the next.
Nostalgia (νοσταλγία), the Ancient Greek compound for the bittersweet yearning of lapsed time, is another way to honor life’s passages. It is here, in the crux of that meaning, the work of Alison Kudlow settles. Creating her own mythos behind the aeon of life/death, the objects she sculpts fluidly intersect between two opposing states of light and shadow in a revelation of illuminated shapes and voided absence of form. Each work contains its own narrative in relation to the daystar, a deified hero’s journey moulded through the coexistence of light and dark. In this manner, Kudlow chisels out a new pantheon, breathing an integrated duality into her archetypes, their tendrils stretching towards reunification both above and below.
On the Nature of Daylight, in reference to Max Richter’s yearning composition, is a conjoined presentation of these orphic constructs. An ephemeral and conceptual thread throughout the exhibition affirms the closeness of both artists’ work, creating a perceptive environment that pulsates with longing for the now-obscured moments, and long-lost departed, on the other side of the veil.