Discovering the In-Between

You Don’t Know My Horizon, Kim Faler

Art Pace

One important thing that art does for the audience is getting the individual to think. This is accomplished through Kim Faler’s work You Don’t Know My Horizon. The work is a series housed in Art Pace, a residential gallery in San Antonio. The building serves as a partial living and gallery space which is in the downtown area of the city. Seasonally, Art Pace chooses a curator who picks out three artists who are local, national, and international. The gallery provides opportunities for the residents to work beyond their boundaries to further the intended effect. Compared to other gallery visits, this location had the most leeway for the artists to expand on their ideas. Faler’s work provided a lot of insight indirectly into the self, but maintained a focus on the material and how it plays into the theme of the series.

When first entering the gallery space, a week before the grand opening, it was littered with tables, brushes, paint, and materials which looked to be in the first stages of completion. Real grape vines were covering a table in the back corner, and drawings were sprawled out with a few pencils accompanied by various sharpeners filled with shavings. There was even a mat laid out with casts of rocks ready to be painted for the next step in her art process. In the last section of the room, there was a repetition of shapes that looked more like alphabet soup laid out in lines that did not make sense. This little preview was both ambiguous and enticing for what was to show the following week. When I was first introduced to Faler and her work, I was with my class on a field trip to the gallery. The most interesting thing about this special pre-cursor to the show was the ability to talk to the artist personally about her work. The idea of life being very temporal was an important subject matter for Faler. She wanted to cross a boundary between time and space with her works. She mentioned that there was the idea to connect with the previous life of the material prior to becoming art. Faler discussed details pertaining to the medium, the inspiration, and the concept of her work in detail that highlighted the train of thought for my return in the week of its grand opening.

Now that Art Pace was officially opened to the public, I could see first-hand what Faler meant when she previously discussed her concepts. Taking that first step into the room, I saw canvases leaning against one another with letter-like moldings elaborately positioned on the fabric. Watercolor paints had been sprayed onto the sculpture the night before and had begun to work itself onto the moldings and drip down off the frame and onto the floor. Standing next to these puddles, I see the dryness of the paint and how it stretches against the dark brown, glossy floors. It reminded me of the moment of time Faler had talked about because she mentioned how she wanted her viewers to think about the past while being in the present. I too thought of the work and what had happened for it to look this way because it’s right in the middle of the room. It’s unavoidable.

In the right-hand corner is a pile of molds that have been casted on rocks. The play on this is the lightness of the rocks that are assumed to be heavy. Faler spoke on this sculpture as being a representation of imagination. This supposed rock is only a rock; however it transcends into another form; a different kind of rock. Some of them are covered in different textures from a process known as hydro-dipping. Faler took each cast and dipped them into translucent printed designs which transfer onto the surface. It creates for the viewers, more so myself, a very self-awareness of what is going on with the work. It is working past the shallow layer of realism in a 3-Dimensional world to press on the notion of what else there could be in organic matter people pass by every day such as grape vines. It’s as if she says not to take for granted with ordinary objects. We must use our imagination to think beyond the factual evidence of the rock only being just a rock. For instance, off in the adjacent corner from the entrance, Faler dipped grapevines she bought into aluminum paint and placed them in such a way that looks like a series of brain cells interlocked in a unique pattern. It hung from the ceiling so the viewer could walk around and even under the sculpture. The material was previously grapevines but Faler hadn’t stopped there. It’s an effective method in repeating the idea to think beyond; to move past the surface and play with the physicality of reality.

On the right of this work, there is a display of four consecutive images where the drawn-out sea foam is very low in the first image and grows across the quadtych. It was my favorite part of the exhibit mostly because it had to do with the idea of the momentary. The idea here is a bridge between memory and forgetting like a film strip playing out what had taken place. Faler wanted to create the motion of the sea foam that worked its way up the shore just as she remembered it. Key word: remembered. It also recalls that memory that anyone would have if they’d seen the ocean. Even as I look left to right, or right to left, I still can see the water working casually onto the sand and receding back in a rhythmic fashion.

Throughout the entire exhibit, Faler impressively kept up a game of intrigue and interaction. There is this continuation of engagement between the audience and work of art. It is as if she embraces this gap between the art, its subject matter, and the audience members. The artist fills a void of dead air to communicate a message that is not a statement but an underlying question on what’s going on via perception. Faler becomes this in-between since she lays out the ground work for all to follow. (1036)


Rebecca Alvarado