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'Suspension of Belief' by Anaïs Morales at Prairie, Chicago

Like the Romanticists of the early 19th century, the work presented in Suspension of Belief seeks to transfix an artistic imagination produced, as a consequence, by the industrial and the Western Continental influence on today’s world. Which is to say the work is inspired by Nature, albeit a second nature.

I began this exploration with an interest in portraiture and painting’s critical trajectory of atrophying into (digitally responsive) sculpture. For a work titled 'Portrait', 2019, I initiated an iterative discharge of this central idea using iconography developed through intuitive (abstract figure) painting. This then became a dive into considering painting’s influence on the modern imagination in terms of how pictorial thinking and mood bleed into far reaching realms such as utility and production, as with CAD software used for marketing pitches and production in interior architecture, architecture, industrial design, etc. Arguably the makings of the antithesis of art—i.e. utility—end up fueling new considerations for art.

For this body of work I decided to reverse this historial process, to fold new technologies back into the old traditions of formal painting and sculpture in order to reinscribe the narrative described above within updated contexts. Samuel Coleridge, a leading Romanticist poet, in 1817 called the act of suspending disbelief to enter into a work poetic faith—the work here, then, conversely operates with a sense of poetic doubt. Doubt insofar as the work doesn't make claims about models for the world to follow but is instead soberly concerned with the makings of art, i.e. a world of gestures and suggestions, pointing everywhere and nowhere simultaneously, vexingly remaining a product of reality.

— Anaïs Morales

17.7.21 — 22.8.21


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