Curiouser & Curiouser

Jane Adeney, Arnold McBay, and Wax Mannequin

January 15 - February 19, 2005

When the whole is greater than the sum of the parts, accountants and statisticians tend to scatter in confusion. Maybe that's why art seems not to attract those monetary and statistical realists. In art, the whole is not quantifiable nor is it easily divided into component pieces that when re-attached replicate the whole again. I'm calling that indefinable, incalculable something "synergy". An energy that is manufactured by the proximity and juxtaposition of the works collected for this group exhibit.

Out of different media, from different gender and age perspectives, comes a clear and powerful "synergy". Having already stated that one cannot "define" this energy, I want to attempt here to identify a few of the elements within the works that one can identify as contributing to this palpable feeling of synergy.

In Jungian psychology and the literary studies of Northrop Frye, symbols play an important role. Jung identified our primordial images as "archetypes" and believed that dream symbols carried messages from the unconscious to the rational mind. For Frye, the symbol is any unit in the literary structure that can be isolated for critical attention. He analyzes the recurring importance of archetypal symbols in literature and their relationship across time.

In this exhibition all three of the artists are devloping a taxonomy of personal symbols, of small objects that retain very large, complex meanings. It is through these symbols that we are ushered into dark places, into the dreams and psyches of the artists. And it is through the bottling, binding and blackening of these symbols that Adeney and McBay are able to comment upon the complex and mysterious qualities of these thoughts. Inherent in the work is the idea that answers and resolutions are hidden away, sequestered in sturdy boxes or obscured by wax. We all must be prepared to work to uncover these personal psychological mysteries.


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