31 Jan Artist Interview: Lindsay Buchman
Lindsay Buchman is an interdisciplinary artist working between Philadelphia and Los Angeles. Her practice explores positions of instability and disintegration through works on paper, installation, artist books, and photo-based approaches. Captivated by shared experience, she investigates interpersonal relationships while pivoting between text and image. Buchman is primarily focused on the implication of memory, and the dissonance between language and communication. Recent projects include: the role of the archive, public memory, and private history.
Buchman’s new exhibition, Y(OURS), will be on view at the Irvine Fine Arts Center from February 13 – April 16, 2016. The opening reception will be held Saturday, February 13, 4-6pm, and an artist talk and book panel will take place on Saturday, April 9, 3-4pm. Lindsay took a moment to tell us about her process and what to expect from the upcoming exhibition.
How did you start making art?
I don’t know if I can locate exactly how I started making art, so much as I’m aware that my history has always been articulated visually. Nonlinear perception continues to take precedence over everything else. While drawing served as a primary language, I only consciously made the commitment to pursuing the visual arts around 2007. I met my mentor, Ernie Welke, in 2003. He was and continues to be my advocate and hero, as well as a significant influence in my trajectory as an artist.
You work both here in California and in Philadelphia. How does that affect your process?
Working bi-coastal has directly informed my practice both conceptually and formally. I’m interested in the notion of a dislocated horizon, so living/working between Southern California and Philadelphia has been catalytic for my research. The continual motion of shifting between spaces is evident in the content of my work. Locality plays an active role, and I find myself deriving information from wherever I’m present. Having separate studios also presents a host of resources: media, environment, community. In Los Angeles, my processes tend to be more direct, e.g., drawing-based works on panel/paper, and my studio is shared with several working artists both emerging and mid-career; whereas in Philadelphia, my studio is in the context of graduate school, and my processes fluctuate more often, e.g., risograph and digital printing, artist books, and installation. Both spaces are abounding with dialogue, which has been integral in reaching deeper levels of inquiry.
How would you describe your subject matter?
To be succinct: people and places. My subject matter is primarily sourced from interpersonal relationships pivoting between text and image. These investigations operate through the lens of memory, inherently linked to dislocation, instability, and erasure. Specifically, I have a writing practice of recording and redacting information. Organizing scores from various authors – lovers, friends, travelers, strangers – serves as the framework for my concerns. Through mapping exchanges, I attempt to expose the dissonance between language and communication, the space between public and private thought. This interrogation of social constructs is tethered to humanity—a shared condition subject to continuous discord, questioning, and negotiation.
Could you tell us what to expect at the Irvine Fine Arts Center Show?
The upcoming show at Irvine Fine Arts Center will include: take-away artist books and print ephemera, works on paper, photography, neon, and a site-specific installation. Examining the intersection of public memory and private history as traced through positions of ownership, images drift between exterior/interior space, and narrative/dialogue. Y(OURS) asks us to re-examine our collective consciousness, positing that what is privately possessed is not separate from what is publically governed. T he exhibition aims to exploit the porous nature of representation mediated through documents, notations, and phenomena. This triangulation acts as a repository for the human experience. While there are numerous take-away features, the collaborative publication [also titled] Y(OURS), will be an essential part of the show.
How did you become interested in “conversations?”
I have wanted to work collaboratively for years, but realizing IFAC would provide a context for a publication was pivotal. The intent to distribute through Y(OURS) was aligned with my questioning of authorship and ownership; it was an opportune moment to develop a larger discourse outside my own. I am surrounded by brilliant individuals and have endless respect for their ethics, ideologies, interests, and differences. Being able to share a discussion with them about something [possession] we are all in constant negotiation with is a privilege. To borrow from my preface, ‘In seeking the lenses of others, we open our sight and arrive at a new site – an unfamiliar location … beyond the conception of the right to own anything exists a shared coordinate, a place where personal identity is only known within a communal topography.’
Y(OURS) the publication features: Rachel Arena, Kevin Berry, Rob Brown, Lindsay Buchman, David DiLeo, Leyla Marandi, Matt Neff, Heather M. O’Brien, Haigen G. Pearson, and Kaitlin Kylie Pomerantz.
Do certain themes occur/reoccur in your work?
Absolutely, yes—time, place, and language as a subset seem to be recurring. I’ve also contended in-depth with architectonic space. Specific structural elements recirculate: doorways, windows, and mailboxes. The index/archive has been an ongoing survey of information, yet the approach to conveying concepts has taken many forms. Most recently, text and image have become composite metaphors—somewhere between an open dialogue and a cataloged history. Over the last 5 years, writing has surfaced as a central priority, currently weaving itself through various iterations of print-based media.
What do you read, listen to, or look at to fuel your work and find inspiration?
The conversations surrounding me are most inspiring, as my interest in communication is at the core of my work. In contrast, I read mostly artists’ books, art historical texts, media, feminist, and literary theory, and various threads of continental philosophy, which just leads to an endless pile of books on my desk. Hito Steyerl’s, The Wretched of the Screen is my favorite read from last year, and I’m currently working through Hans Belting’s, An Anthropology of Images: Picture, Medium, Body. Currently listening to: Aretha Franklin, Cat Power, The Velvet Underground, and Handsome Boy Modeling School. Looking at: Sophie Calle, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, and Zoe Leonard.
What new projects do you have planned and where can we find your work?
My solo exhibition, Y(OURS), will be on view at the Irvine Fine Arts Center from February 13 – April 16, 2016. The opening reception will be held Saturday, February 13, 4-6pm, and an artist talk and book panel will take place on Saturday, April 9, 3-4pm. The entirety of the show is new work, which will likely lead to additional artist books mid-year. I will also have work included at the Armory Center for the Arts from February 20 – March 26, 2016. The exhibition, Tight Squeeze, is a fundraising event for Los Angeles County High School for the Arts – an incredible LA institution where I formerly taught. In spring, I will be collaborating with Todd Smith of Press Works to produce an edition of monoprints, which will be available at: www.pressworksart.com
Current and future projects can be viewed at: www.lindsaybuchman.com