Annual Winter Exhibition – Extended to March 9!
Curated by Headlands Program Director Brian Karl
One trajectory for the term reconnaissance is its use in military functions: the scouting of new realms, potential fields of battle, or terrain of the enemy or others of unknown affiliation. This usage is similar to a vector for the word’s meaning pointing to an initial viewing of a site meant for further or more formal surveying, carving up, and assigning to new purpose.
There is at least one additional direction of signification, however, when the original meaning borrowed from the older French is taken more literally: reconnaissance as recognition. In this sense, reconnaissance is the thing already seen, along with all the possible changes, slippages and distortions that occur between a prior acquaintance and a new meeting.
This is the more uncertain ground on which is generated the uncanny and which provides some additional basis for this exhibition. The work selected captures these moments of acknowledgement within new contexts causing the viewer to stop and reevaluate their understanding of what was thought to be familiar. For example, creatures startlingly confronted—out of place or context—or locations half-recognized, partially known, but unexpectedly encountered in new guise, recalling some past moment of trauma, and/or producing the unsettling or unaccountable apprehension of the future.
Come together with participating artists for an opening reception on Sunday, January 19 from 12-5PM.
Above images: Josef Jacques, mining operation, route 66, CA/AZ border, 2013 (top) and Cole Caswell, Alimata Tubes, 2012/2013
Homepage image: Cole Caswell, Alimata Tubes, 2012/2013 (left, detail) and Josef Jacques, mining operation, route 66, CA/AZ border, 2013 (right, detail)