Monday, June 7, 2010

Tracy Hicks: Drawn to Darwin

2009 was a year of miles and milestones. Milestone-interpreting was a solitary game I created as I drove, hauling installations around Middle America, back and forth between Kansas, Iowa, Ohio, Arizona and the gulf coast jewel, Galveston. The game involved associating visually interesting sights with the highway mile markers. Doing an installation in Akron, Ohio, means driving 1,165 miles four times. Place-associations noted on the first trip were reinforced on the second third and forth trips back and forth over the same ground. I never made notes, but tried to link a mental image to the mile number. Occasionally, there were also names of towns or road names, but most often, conjunctions of billboards or trees or fences were the keys to recognizing a place again. Even when recognized, the place was never the same. Finding the change in the repetition was the game.
I shot the first images in this book while preparing for the Darwin installation in Akron. This collection is the result of my going back and forth over the artifacts and images I collected in 2009 and the first half of 2010. I continue to travel back and forth over Darwin and evolution, art, science and religion as sources of art-worthy material. The markers are the same, but their significance evolves with the turn of the seasons, the arc of the sun, the angle of my mind, their shifting proximity to one another.

I suspect that organized religion will always be in conflict with Darwin and with science. And that art will always occupy the space between the real and belief. Art is a faith that allows the freedom to interpret individually and privately. Collectively, art reflects the evolution of human understanding.
The images in this book include:
Drawings of Darwin, scientific glassware, desert, stream and human landscapes, cast rubber glassware and frogs, live frogs (Agalychnis annae from Todd Kelley), a cracked glass box, snake skeleton vertebra and ribs, human skull, baboon skull , a cast human skull, my hand, friends' bodies, cast turnips, and Rosa Avila's grave.

Tracy Hicks
June 2010

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