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Q&A: Rebecca Carter


by Stephen Becker 5 Dec 2008

Guest blogger Walton Muyumba is a professor at the University of North Texas: On Saturday, 500x Gallery is launching a new show, “the supposed object” / anti(Formula), with an opening reception from 6-10 p.m. The show features pieces by Aqsa Shakil, Shelby Cunningham, Mark Collop and Rebecca Carter. In anticipation of the show, I visited […]

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Guest blogger Walton Muyumba is a professor at the University of North Texas:

On Saturday, 500x Gallery is launching a new show, “the supposed object” / anti(Formula), with an opening reception from 6-10 p.m. The show features pieces by Aqsa Shakil, Shelby Cunningham, Mark Collop and Rebecca Carter. In anticipation of the show, I visited Rebecca Carter’s studio in Oak Cliff for a short interview about her inventive new work.

Walton Muyumba: The pieces you are exhibiting in the show concern your investigations of rockets, astronauts, space and the moon. What has drawn you to the moon as a subject?

Rebecca Carter: The story begins when I moved to Texas to take this job [at SMU]. About five months after I moved here, I woke up and had a visceral sensation of feeling at home. What I realized was that it was raining and I had a series of quick thoughts . . . that the sound of the rain made me feel at home. Part of the reason for that is that I grew up in North Carolina and Vermont where there’s a lot of rain. And then I realized that it had not rained since I’d move [to Dallas]. I had another quick thought: “Oh my God, I’ve landed on the moon. I’m in this unfamiliar, dry, desolate territory.” So, at that time I was making this series of drawings, just doing daily drawings, and I started drawing the moon just because it had sort of entered the vocabulary.

WM: Your pieces seem to illustrate something about the continuities among visual, technological and textural properties. Why use a mixture of mediums to explore the moon?

RC: If there is an overarching project, it is an investigation into how the mind works. And I’ve been writing about the work as an exploration of the non-local space that interpenetrates the self and the world. So, then the question is how to go about doing that; there are lots of different ways of doing that. The moon is already an over-determined symbol in our culture, a subject of curiosity, a subject of poetry, a subject of romantic narratives, and political ambition. So, I like that idea of something overly determined, kind of like what Sigmund Freud talks about in dreams, like something that means many, many things, multiply, all at the same time. For me, the moon has also taken on this whole other set of associations that I’m playing off of. The different materials have different meanings and different ways of articulating meaning.

DETAILS: the supposed object” / anti(Formula) runs from Saturday to Dec. 28 at 500x Gallery

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