Rachel Dawson

Psychics Reading
porcelain sculptures on light table with wall text
72 x 42 x 16 in.

My practice involves working with people who operate inside and outside of the art world to question its value-systems and the problems associated with artistic production and authorship. I investigate different roles of creativity and agency, often within a feminized space of making. Process based, my multi-media installations play with absurdity, notions of liminality, and the space of the imagination.

My most recent project has been in collaboration with a San Francisco psychic. Just as a medium links the worlds of the living and dead, I utilize psychics to connect the space between those inside and outside of the art world. What began with the psychic prophesying my future art works soon shifted to me presenting artist objects to be read with psychometry or token-object reading. Psychics Reading Sculpture commenced with the participation of twenty women artists who I asked to fabricate art objects. Each artist followed a set of parameters, a medium-size piece of paper that could be drawn on, written on, or cut up with scissors, then dipped in ceramic porcelain slip and crumpled or folded. After kiln firing the pieces, the paper burned out, leaving only a fragile and ephemeral record of the gesture. Seeking a way to further explore notions of presence and absence, the objects were taken to the psychic to be read and analyzed. The resulting art work (video, sculpture, and painting) not only shifts the responsibility to the viewer, but raises many questions on the intuitive and critical nature of art.

© Rachel Dawson