Galleria Raffaella Cortese is pleased to present a third solo show
by Barbara Bloom. The exhibition will involve two of the three gallery
spaces simultaneously, with artworks conceived and realized expressively
for the show and its venues.
Absence and its
depiction has been, for nearly 40 years, an ongoing theme of exploration
in the work of Barbara Bloom. Fingerprints, lipstick traces,
watermarks, tea stains, footprints, invisible texts, erasures,
cross-outs, Braille, and ellipses... are her favored forms and objects.
These flirtations between visibility and invisibility have been frequent
presences in her work. Another equally strong aspect of Barbara Blooms
work has been its relationship to literature. She uses books and texts
from favorite authors as carriers of meaning, and often suggests implied
narratives. Bloom has often said that she was meant to be a writer,
probably a novelist, but somehow ended up standing in the wrong line
(and inadvertently signed up to be a visual artist).
The Literary and the Absent come together in the exhibition The Weather.
In space n. 1 is shown the
photographic series Works for the Blind. In each Work for the Blind, a
text about the nature of seeing (from Wittgenstein, Barthes, or Dorothy
Sayers) appears twice, once in Braille typed over an image, and oncethe
size of a postage stampin five-point type printed white on black.
Accompanying each text is a photograph of an illusiona magician
levitating a matchbook, a UFO landing, an egg floating in midair. The
pictures and the texts all speak to us of the difficulty of seeing
things for what they are, but very few people will be able to make sense
of both: sighted people can see the illusionary photograph (though not
how the illusion is accomplished), but most will only be able to squint
and guess at the too-small text; the blind will be able to read the text
(the plexiglass is cut away over the Braille so it can be touched), but
unable to see the photograph. The one thing that is clear to all is
that everyone is blinded.
In this space is also shown the
photographic series Eyes Closed. Bloom has spent a lot of time in movie
theaters. She also lived in both America and Europe, so one way or the
other, a great many of the films she has seen had words accompanying the
image. Those words were always such oddly inadequate approximations of
the spoken language, and yet their printed authority gave them a
solidity that fleeting speech