psychological geographies

Using the material world as catalyst for the projection of unconscious contents, each work aims to amplify primitive feminine knowledge which is seen as both suppressed and the means by which we can begin to heal the world’s wounds.

SLUICE

Spirit Lake/Kirk Wall video installation
SLUICE: Exchange Berlin, November 2018

 

“Elaine Fisher explores archetypal questions about femininity, soul and nature in her installation, ‘Spirit Lake’.  Reduced video works of a falling leaf and a crow in flight presented on two monitors on an upper and a lower level, a conscious and a subconscious level, draw the viewer into the dream”

“The atmosphere of the sinister ice lake is impressively evoked by the artist’s reduced, dominating white……a deliberately disturbing sound installation in which you can hear the sound of a crow in slow motion…….the two works are mutually dependent……The installation calms and troubles at the same time.”

review by sandra-ratcovic.com click here for complete text

(re)making notes

The (re)making of Spirit Lake highlighted a significantly expanded role for the primitive right hemisphere as both pre-conscious originator (the impulse to video a tree in the wind and the unknown ‘gift’ of a falling leaf), ambiguous collector (the pre-conscious association of flying crow and falling leaf) and active responder to the limitations of consciousness (creative solutions emerged in response to failed attempts to solidify a messy background; a mis-click added the unknown ‘gift’ of a panning function).  In neuro-science the left hemisphere is a (noisy?) processor, constantly referring data back to (agitating a response from?) the right hemisphere for further creative output.  In these terms we can perhaps more hopefully view the role of Trickster (Crow/Raven) in the world (through Kirk Wall) as an opportunity for renewed and focussed creative action.

psychological geographies

Spirit Lake/Kirk Wall forms part of a wider body of work, Creation Myths, completed at Aside Gallery and Studios, 1501 Guilford Avenue, aka The CopyCat Building. 1501 Guilford Avenue has come to be synonymous with the owner of its former roof top billboard (The Copycat Printing Company) despite being home to many different manufacturing industries at that time.  Part of Baltimore’s artistic community since the 1980s, the Copycat Building continues to struggle to recognise its inner life, caught as it is between a desire to legitimise artist live/work studios and a legal black hole that is not able to facilitate a zoning change.

Kirk Wall was filmed on the ruined site of the Earl’s Palace in Kirkwall, Orkney. In the early 1600s Lord Orkney decided that the existing Bishop’s Palace was inadequate for his needs.  He extended the complex by building a new Earl’s Palace on the adjoining Land which he acquired by fabricating charges and trying and executing the current owner for theft.

Spirit Lake was filmed on the shores of Grand Lake, Colorado.  Given the name batan-naache (meaning Holy Lake or Spirit Lake) by the Arapaho Indians, Grand Lake is also the site of The Legend of the Buffalo, a supernatural beast seen emerging from a hole of open water at the centre of the ice-covered lake in winter.  In Ute Indian tradition the lake is “bad medicine”.  During an attack by an Arapahoe/Cheyenne Indian war party, women and children found refuge on a raft cast out into the lake.  A  curiously strong wind raised a monstrous wave which capsized the raft and all were drowned.  When the lake freezes over in the winter, it is said that one can hear the urgent cries of the women and children beneath the surface.

psychological geography is a term used by Marie Louise Von Franz in her book Creation Myths to describe certain constellations of the landscape that serve to catalyze the projection of inherited archetypal patterns of representation.  Thus we find in landscape ‘fitting places’ for certain deeds, fantasies and ideas (1972 revised 1995 Shambhala Publications p317).  In contrast to Von Franz’s phenomenal (and feminine?) psychological geography, Psychogeography, a term coined by Guy Debord in 1955, has developed into a (masculine?) cause and effect pathology where geochemical profiles, geomagnetic variations and tectonic stresses are identified as causes of schizophrenia, epidemics of unusual behaviours and psychosis.

 

SLUICE: exchange Berlin

berlin

a weekend of exhibitions, performances, talks & screenings 16 – 18 November Kühlhaus, Luckenwalder Straße 3, 10963 Berlin

Sluice Exchange is a biennial expo bringing together galleries and projects that share similar foundational ideologies of independence and artistic engagement. I will be showing work as part of OSR Projects Weather Station with Simon Lee Dicker, Laura Hopes and Alexander Stevenson.

EXCHANGE is broadly themed around the local as transnational ideas battle re-emergent nationalistic tendencies. The artist/curator-led scene is often tied to the local (usually influenced by funding parameters or lack of funding altogether). But there is often an awareness that if the local isn’t positioned within a broader inter/national context that it risks becoming parochial. EXCHANGE BERIN focuses on the importance of solidarity, inclusion and collaboration. Is there a way to square internationalism with the destructive nature of globalisation? As nationalism rears its head around the world what response does art have?

 

open studio

IMG_6095
Original drawings made while you wait and canvas drawings available to order from my current investigation Creation Myths 

 

Saturday, October 13 & Sunday, October 14 10am-6pm

Aside Gallery & Studios
Copycat Building
1501 Guilford Ave
Baltimore, MD 21202
DM instagram @elaineyfish

 

 

Open Studio Tour is an annual city-wide event organised by School 33 Art Centre.  Each year, collectors and art lovers have the opportunity to visit artists in their studios, see their work, and get a behind-the-scenes glimpse into their working processes.

On Saturday, October 13 and Sunday, October 14, visit the studios of more than 100 artists located throughout Baltimore City to view and purchase their original works of art, including paintings, sculptures and photographs during this self-guided tour.

reliable objects

reliable objects_2_22x28in 13.36.05

Reliable Objects II (Baltimore)

We only become aware that home is the psychological foundation of human experience when it is disturbed and we are disorientated.  Reliable objects draws our attention to the drive to re-make home and asks what happens when disturbing objects become the reliable things we want to reassemble.

Reliable Objects II will be exhibited in One Gun Gone: thoughts and prayers are not enough Rhode Island Center for Photographic Arts 18 Oct – 9 Nov

to pierce a crow’s eye

Photo Aug 10, 3 07 36 PM
Orkney Crow (2018)
I have been drying and peeling fruit stones.  I have photographed an avocado boat.  I have dipped into the water with the oar of a Canadian Canoe and touched Lily, Lotus, searching for the rhizome below.  I found what I didn’t know I was seeking in the bulbous lignotuber of the Arbutus which here is a protected Oak, a place where native objects have been carefully buried (for future use?)
Crow looms over the process, casting its eye.  Crow is Raven, the First Nation Trickster, seemingly stupid, irrational and untrustworthy, yet providing the necessary agitation that enables access to an ancient store of knowledge.
The Trickster abounds in contemporary politics because there is much to learn, much that we have lost in our contemporary experience.  The Trickster is not the way but resonates at our deepest level and causes us to act on our primitive knowing so that a way forward can be found.  The Trickster points to all that is wrong, delighting in it so that we can ignore it no longer; dancing naked on our collective wounds, defecating on our public monuments.  Turning a blind eye to the Trickster enables our wounds, our monumental disasters to dig in, deeper.  Confronting Him with logic merely feeds the frenzy.  We need to watch and learn from His mistakes, for in His doing is the key to Her undoing.
Crow provides access to the deep and a way out again, pecking over the old dark bones so that they can re-emerge gleaming from the dark to light our way.
(“to pierce a crow’s eye” is a Roman saying for something thought impossible to do ref. Mayberry and Kramer eds. 2007 The Cryptopedia: A dictionary of the weird, strange and downright bizarre)

neurosis (over)looked(over)

ness -ness nest nestle net (2018) or neurosis (over)looked(over) (retitled 2018)

 

An article in which I consider my own artistic practice as metaphor for Jung’s theory and process of individuation; aiming towards wholeness through a connection of apparently opposing forces.

Until recently I have separated out my self from the place of artistic enquiry. Unconsciously at first and then, in an emerging consciousness, discrediting the appearance of self in order that my work not to be identified as naval-gazing and irrelevant to an audience other than me.  But research into Jung’s psychological theory of a collective consciousness has expanded my view as to the relevance (to others) of this undeniably personal enquiry.
To go into the self offers the potential of opening into the deepest and oldest levels of the psyche, to a time before consciousness when myths were created and (re)created, passed on in an oral tradition in order to draw meaning from our shared experiences.  To go into the oldest levels of the psyche to a time before the concept of linear time, to a time before differentiation, before we became self and other, offers the potential of wholeness and oneness, a connection between people that emerges through their own myths as they are laid out in parallel.
The beauty of this enquiry is that it simultaneously reaches inwards and outwards, for “when the soul wants to experience something she throws out an image for us to step into” (Eckhart von Hochheim in Ronnberg ed.2010 p6).  Stepping into the image prioritizes knowledge that comes from intuition but it does not remain unconscious, rather inuition “precedes thinking” and also “suggests where thinking may go; it is the star which determines the adjustment of the telescope” (June Singer in Downing, C ed. 1994 p387), the lens with which we search for the kernel of the complex, the archetype with parallels across world mythologies.
No longer are self-reflective qualities in my work seen as curiosities, bi-products of more important external investigations.  Metaphors that pointed outwards towards Climate Change now also look inwards towards advancing weather systems that might indicate a depression.  The word ‘neurotic’ apparently coincidental in a work looking at boundaries and exchange in language and landscape, overlooking internal complexes, emotionally charged ideas that redirect my thinking and behaviour.

In my latest body of work, the field of research was a dream site, experienced whilst on holiday in Valletta, Malta.  Encountering material that undoubtedly connected with the ‘inside’ I was unable to project my analysis onto anything other than my self.  Each time my research ventured outwards it took a kind of boomerang trajectory, mirroring the journey of my enquiry into the human condition from a study of archaeology towards archaeology-as-metaphor (for depth psychology).  The further I travelled from my dream the closer I came back to an understanding of my self.

Downing, C ed. 1994 The Long Journey Home: Re-visioning the Myth of Demeter and Persephone for Our Time Shambbala Press p387
Ronnberg ed. 2010 The book of Symbols Taschen p6

Did you meet her? (d’m’t-er)

Did you meet her

click image to play

Did you meet her? (d’m’t-er) is a selective installation from an ongoing body of work, the impulse for which emerged in a search for the Mother Goddess in Valetta, Malta in 2017.  The work draws on my own dreams and archetypal encounters, the pre-patriarchal myth of the triple goddess, Demeter, and the psychological concept of a world-soul.

Nau Arts (11-18 May 2018)
unit 2 Crooks Industrial Estate, Cheltenham