Laurie Gant

The Pressure of the Unspoken
Thu May 24, 1990 - Sat Jun 23, 1990

Artist Statement

When we choose to represent an experience, we must first define it. This is the nature of work, my work – the problem of definition. Not definition as identification (I am this. I am that.) but definition as description (This is what I do. This is how I do it.). This is my personal pursuit of a specific self, a self with a will of its own.

I am in pursuit of an illusion of my own making, of my own design, of my own desire. This desire remains an illusion because it is in direct opposition with physical, hence, verbal evidence (reality). I am in pursuit of that location where the physical and the verbal collapse into my own imagination. This
is where my unconscious exists. This is where I look for my self.

In my work, the image, my image, has no audible voice and no distinct features. I am an illusion, a projected silhouette. I will not hear. I do not speak. I cannot respond. I can only see and feel and think about what it is I am after. And what I am after is some understanding of my version of conscious

Projected and electronic images are obvious metaphors for the struggle between illusion and reality as played out in the layers of human consciousness. In my own brain this struggle becomes a crisis of individual and collective identity, existence and survival.

My work often involves minor feats of strength and stamina. I find myself inventing strange and often embarrassing tasks for myself to perform like running up and down a stairway for an hour or jumping up and down against a wall for thirty minutes. While I am doing these things, I often wonder why I am doing them. I think there is probably no such thing as repetition, only persistence. My work is about this persistence, the persistence to be seen, the persistence to be heard, the persistence to survive.