San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art: Curators Picks Issue One

2015 marks the third year of the popular Curator Picks, write ups by the curatorial team illuminating a small sampling of amazing works included in the auction this year. The first group represents six works from the Silent Auction, which takes place on Saturday, October 10th.The “picks” are selected by Executive Director and Chief Curator Cathy Kimball, Curator Donna Napper, and Curatorial Assistant Emily Fayet.

Week 1 Curator Picks include pieces donated by Mel Day, Chris Dorosz, Ema Harris-Sintamarian, Michelle Murillo, Chris Trueman, and Kimetha Vanderveen

Mel Day, Etc. Etc., A New Edition, 2014, Graphite and digital pigment print on archival paper, 14 x 16″

Mel Day is an interdisciplinary artist working across a wide range of media including video, participatory projects, installations and photo-based works such as Etc. Etc., A New Edition. This work is part of a series she began as a visiting artist at Stanford Experimental Media Arts Lab where she had access to high resolution scanners and printers. To create this image, she scanned a book she found in the remains of an old house in Scotland, arranging it with a bookmark, an icon peeking out above its pages. On the right page is an erased inscription; below the erasure, one can read “Etc. Etc., A New Edition“ – hence the title of the piece.Day’s body of work explores doubt and the instability of belief systems of all kinds.
Books, as vectors of knowledge, convey a certain vision of reality, sometimes leading to a personal revelation or sometimes raising skepticism in the reader’s mind. Do words carry any form of definite truth? Or is their meaning dictated by their historical and cultural environment, as the erasure may suggest? By scanning the first two blank pages of the book, Day leaves these decisions up to the viewer.

Day is a Canadian-British artist currently living in the Bay Area. Her work has been exhibited both nationally and internationally. She holds an MFA from UC Berkeley and a BFA from Queen’s University, Canada, with a year’s study at the Glasgow School of Art, Scotland. (EF)