Mariah Dekkenga

February 15 - March 22
    • I see my paintings as being rooted in abstraction, but moving away from abstraction towards concrete experience. Concrete experience being that which moves away from abstraction and empty signifiers towards the phenomenon of perception.

      Any move towards reality or the reality of making an object can be viewed this way. A move from less to more intuitive consciousness that is rooted entirely in the physical world.
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      There are concepts to which no words can be attached.

      I am trying to create a space for non-discursive thinking and at the same time dematerialize painting. I am interested in the image as an a-material form.

      The process involves recombining and separating, expanding and contracting different kinds of influences. These range from the most philosophical to the most mundane. They organize in my subconscious mind and combine into formal arrangements. It is the syntax that interests me, not the signification.

      I am not in control of the way these things combine. I am in control of what I decide to realize. My work is not abstract.
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      I have a very militaristic or aerobic aspect to my practice... I like to spend time practicing certain activities over and over like an athlete or a dancer. Those activities generally have something to do with improvisation - confining myself to a very narrow set of parameters and forcing myself to continually take different approaches.

      Formal restrictions amplify difference - especially the subtle kind, which is what I'm
      going for.
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      No one mistakes technology for new ideas in painting.

      This is because technology must always follow the idea in painting. The invention of new technology within painting comes out of need.

      Often, in other art forms, technology will present the artist with a new set of ideas, and those ideas will determine the artist's relationship to her materials. I am not interested in serving the evolution of technology. I am often frustrated by the way certain technology organizes thought.

      Painting is old. This is why the stakes are much higher within painting, because many great minds have influenced its evolution. Many economies, governments, social strata. It has survived. It has devised strategies within its own materiality to survive the multitude of contexts it has inhabited - from fresco to canvas - it has constantly liberated itself.

      In order to make paintings one must recognize that nothing is new. One must relinquish a sense of ownership, of invention, of originality.

      What do I mean when I say painting? I mean the making of an image. Not the taking of an image, the making of an image.

      It is too easy for new technology to excite people.
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      A form is an idea in painting.
      -
      Mariah Dekkenga, 2015

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