Candace Hick’s Many Mini Murder Scenes features a series of rooms constructed in miniature and vignettes created from cut paper. Hicks reproduces tableaux plucked from crime fiction and offers viewers the experience of playing a detective searching for clues. A guidebook and tools enables us to decode the exhibition like an investigator, but rather than solving the crime, we have the opportunity to assess the significance of the popularity of murder mysteries in American culture, including the depiction of race, gender, age and mortality itself.
Without the gore or evidence of violence, the scenes are nonetheless imbued with the uncanny. Embellished with hidden text on the surfaces of walls, floors and furniture, viewers reveal the secrets with the aid of “decoders” in the form of colored films, UV light, and other optical tricks. Using various treatments on the glass, the spaces will appear to change depending on vantage point. For instance, a wall may appear solid from one angle, but it will disappear when viewed from the opposite side of the room, merging two spaces into one.
Candace Hicks holds a BA from Austin College and an MFA from Texas Christian University. Hicks’ work has recently shown at the Center for Book Arts, New York; Abecedarian Gallery, Denver, CO; Box 13 ArtSpace and Lawndale Art Center in Houston, TX; Pump Project in Austin, TX; and Living Arts in Tulsa, OK. She is currently an Assistant Professor at Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, TX.