April 11, 2010

Designer Self-Statement: Abigail Uhteg’s Cinema-Charged Manifesto

Printmaker Abigail Uhteg’s statement about herself appears as a dissonant run-on at first, but there’s method to its flow. It builds with each re-read. Each paragraph is treated like a spread in a book. There’s an unfolding of cinematic texture in Uhteg’s prose:
“Preemptive isolation: the reduction of variables (seemingly minor details, nearly always silent and solitary), dangerously romantic sympathetic, intimate. Irrelevant fumbling selves (certain configurations of line and color, or peculiarly-shaped objects) find their particular nostalgia in darkness.

An unabashedly emotional response to catastrophe: distant, distracting, counterfeit details, continually vibrant instead of freezing an instant, as if things should have halted long before, a paragraph before, a page before, faithful whispers confident in spite of their strangeness.

A pervasive fascination with unforgettable things, a quivering conscience, a clumsy counterfeit of inordinate proportions concealed in boundless depths of ambiguous nothingness (anticipating an inexplicable absence). Mumbles unremarkable transient things (a street, a waterbody), irrationally significant, weightless, slips into another language to avoid or invite misunderstanding. (A humble not to Nabokov’s staring fish, a stubborn devotion to the object.)

An overture to a paradigm, searching for honesty, elegance, conviction, parenthetical thoughts enclosed in the appropriate shape, any residual equivocal quivering to be confined therein. Enduring, momentous, italic capitals necessitated by deliberate selves’ longing for authenticity.”
How she writes about herself speaks to her sensibilities with printmaking, where narrative seeps beyond the surface.

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This is the second piece in a series focused on collecting and pointing to “effortless” expressions created by designers who describe themselves. In these pieces, designers reveal something about their attitude toward work, whatever their discipline may be, one “About Me” at a time. In case you missed the first, read how Artist and Musician Scott Hansen, of blog ISO50, writes about himself.