Dade County And The Arts - The Artist Who Works With Instability

Wednesday, January 27, 2016 - by Barbara Rosenthal

My work is a manifestation of my soul and psyche. Soul connects me to the universe, psyche to inner self: to DNA plus experience. The work connects me to you.

When ideas flash open, I write them into journals, and some force me to produce them. If they don’t like how I’m making them, they pilot me to change them (and, often, to spend a lot of money). Eventually, they let me know they are done with me, and finished, although with the caveat that they may return at any time for complete overhaul.

Then the next stage is that they nag to be described. And taunt me to show them around. And to guess what they mean.

Every step, daily life throws obstacles and horrors in my path. But, while tip-toeing through each grueling misadventure, sometimes a picture is captured, a phrase immaterializes, or another idea lights the way.

I don’t illustrate ideas, sociological discourse or political points. I let life assault me, and mix with memory of life and art and literature already in my brain in their own proportions. I release my mind to float and sink and swim through it at will. Sometimes it comes across a submarine that shoots an idea-torpedo from deep portions of brain to outer portions of mind and into my fingers, not letting me let go until I work it into something, even though I may not finish right away, and let it keep working itself out over time.

My art or writing dialogs with me, and tells me what to do. I don’t direct my work from the outside, I don’t force it to become something pre-envisioned. I don’t know where the torpedo will burst. I just look at the artwork or read my writing as it develops. When the picture wants to change, I change it. When the words change as I re-read, I retype. This can go on for a long time. I’m not in a hurry to finish. And I never produce works to anyone else’s call or expectation. I insist on keeping other agendas out of my head.

However, viewers and critics are important to me, eventually. Because my work comes from my subconscious, and is existential and identity-based (not the ethnic or social or time-related identity, but core-identity, human-identity), I believe it resonates with other humans willing to forego what they already think they know, and absorb just what I show them. Many people who see my work, often people unused to seeing lots of art, have stories from their own lives and ideas and dreams that my work releases for them. Many times they show me my own work in ways I never thought of! Critics often do this for me, too. I have been producing viable art for over 50 years, and critics have given me many insights into my meanings and my methods. One such early, defining comment was by Ellen Handy’s in Photography Quarterly, 1992, "An authority born of constant introspection characterizes her photographic meditations...and...[she] embraces chaos and uncertainty with a persistent grip upon the messy ephemerality of experience...." Another was by curator Martha Wilson, in 1983, when she noted that I use a “page as an alternative space,” by which she means an experimental, architectural performance space.

---

Barbara Rosenthal is a NY artist and writer who works in performance, video, photography, prints, objects and  books. Her works explore identity. VSW Press published four of her image text-books. Her new novel, WISH FOR AMNESIA is just out from Deadly Chaps Press. She began by keeping Journals when she was eleven. She has been reviewed by the Village Voice, NY Times, and Flash Art International; taught Photography at Parsons/The New School, Video at Manhattanville College, Drawing at the State Univesity of NY, Writing at the City University of NY; and she writes art reviews for Ragazine.


Stocking Full Of Love Continues To Provide Toys For Children In Need

CPD Releases Robbery Trend And Safety Reminder

Cranfield Rowell: No More Flip Phones, Please


For over two decades the Catoosa County Sheriffs Office has sponsored the Stocking Full of Love toy drive. Each year, the Sheriffs Office accepts names of needy children from Catoosa County schools, ... (click for more)

The Chattanooga Police Department says it is seeing an increase in robberies involving people who are buying/selling items via online classified apps and websites. "Three such robberies were ... (click for more)

Around 20 years ago it was uncommon to see or know someone who used, or owned, a cellular phone. If a person had a mobile phone they were ‘somebody’. Those mobile phones looked like the large ... (click for more)


Happenings

Stocking Full Of Love Continues To Provide Toys For Children In Need

For over two decades the Catoosa County Sheriffs Office has sponsored the Stocking Full of Love toy drive. Each year, the Sheriffs Office accepts names of needy children from Catoosa County schools, civic organizations and state agencies and provides toys for those children at Christmas. "Last year approximately 1,200 children received assistance from the Stocking Full of Love program ... (click for more)

CPD Releases Robbery Trend And Safety Reminder

The Chattanooga Police Department says it is seeing an increase in robberies involving people who are buying/selling items via online classified apps and websites. "Three such robberies were committed in the past week. The victims were robbed at gunpoint of items they were trying to sell along with other personal items," officials said. As a crime prevention measure, CPD reminds ... (click for more)

Breaking News

City Council Considering Interim Ordinance Curbing Development Of Steep Slopes, Floodplains

The City Council is considering action soon on an interim ordinance curbing development of steep slopes and floodplains. The measure would limit development of slopes of 33 percent grade or more to 20 percent of those steep grades. It would allow no more than 51 percent of a floodplain to be developed. A large number of developers in the audience indicated they are strongly ... (click for more)

Chicago Drug Dealer Who Supplied Large Amount Of Heroin To Chattanooga Contacts Found Guilty By Federal Jury

A Chicago drug dealer who prosecutors said supplied a large amount of heroin to sources in Chattanooga was found guilty by a federal jury in Chattanooga on Tuesday. James Silas, 50, was convicted of conspiring to distribute one kilogram or more of heroin. Sentencing is set for April 24 at 2 p.m. by Judge Curtis Collier, who presided over the trial. Based on a prior drug ... (click for more)

Opinion

Thanks To First Volunteer Bank

Thank you to the Highway 58 branch of First Volunteer Bank. On behalf of the Ernie Pyle Chapter of the Military Order of the Purple Heart, I would like to express our appreciation to the manager and staff of the HIghway 58 Branch of First Volunteer Bank for putting on a Veterans Day lunch in the lobby of your bank on Friday, Nov. 9. It was a cold and rainy day and Army, Marines ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: ‘Easy Eddie’ & Butch

Not an hour’s drive from where I now sit is one of the best restaurants in all of Tennessee. Its been some years since I last ate supper at High Point, a legendary mansion restored to elegance by the current owners but, back in the ‘60s, I got a wide-eyed teenager’s peek at the place one Sunday afternoon. What’s this? 14-inch walls filled with sand to stop a G-man’s bullet? Escape ... (click for more)