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"Reveal Thy Self" Sam Dahl

  • Project Space 613 Allen Street Austin, TX, 78702 United States (map)
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How often do we take the measure of a person by what they are wearing, what car they drive, what things they own, and by how they choose to arrange them in their homes?  How often do we imagine what other people might think, when we decide how to arrange our possessions in our homes, or when we choose what clothes to wear?  The hundreds of objects we call our own at any given time in our lives all say something about who we are and how we feel.  These objects may even become extensions or souvenirs of ourselves, to be coveted or possessed by other people.  A work of art by a noted artist and the mug your grandfather owned both have this quality in common.

I have in the past been motivated to make objects the subject matter of my paintings, in part because objects are such signifiers of people and how they behave.  And yet my paintings could never convey the unseen presence or personality of an object’s owner.  The painting itself, including the image of the object, was a signifier of who I am, but the image of the objects themselves said nothing about anyone else.

Therefore, this installation and collaboration is my attempt to do what I could not do in a painting:  to preserve the touch of the objects’ owners, and to allow these objects to reveal their owners in a manner that is a lot less distorted by my influence.  For I have had no say in the choice of these objects on display, nor any involvement in how they are arranged.