Migration of Souls

By Mateo Galvano

I’m working on a series of projects that are intended for exhibition for my MFA thesis show at Majestic Galleries in Nelsonville, Ohio, April 2014. The exhibition will include a series of photographs as well as sculptural installation, drawings, paintings, and sound compositions based on experimental vocal and spoken word components. There may also be a moving image work involved. There will also be a printed, bound book that will contain photographic images and writings that are fragments of my prose and poetic writings. The cross-disciplinary nature of the work is conceptually driven by my studio practice, which has been established for a few decades, and also by my interest in philosophical questions about the nature of absence and loss and the human search for meaning in the face of mortality. In this work, I am utilizing the services and equipment at the @lab, such as the digital printing services, which I use to print out photographic images of landscapes as well as detailed abstractions derived from some of my installation works. An installation of these photographs will be part of my thesis exhibition. I have also been using the Final Cut Pro film editing program at the @lab. Lastly, I have been signing out hand-held microphone and recording equipment in order to record a variety of sounds and spoken word for use in sound compositions....

Devil-Jack Diamond-Fish


91st Species. Devil-Jack Diamond-Fish. Litholepis adamantinus. This fish probably never existed, except in folk-lore and the imaginations of a few 19th century pioneer/explorer/artist/naturalists like Constantine Rafinesque, who published a scientific description of the fish in his 1820 catalog of fishes of the Ohio River. According to Rafinesque’s account, the Devil-Jack Diamond-Fish grew to 10 feet in length, weighed as much as 400 lb. and bore scales tough enough to repel lead musket balls. Juxtaposing this fragment of historical/scientific text with a video loop of an underwater pondscape suggests a narrative, and creates a dialogue between ways of knowing: objective/subjective, scientific/mythic, rational/dreamlike. There was a time in American history when the landscape seemed wild, untamed, and endless; a time when animals grew to unnatural size and ferocity, and fish were clad with bullet-proof scales. As the wilderness has been civilized and humans are an increasingly visible presence in the landscape–as nature and culture look more and more indistinguishable, waterways become the last bastion of the romantic sublime. Rivers and lakes still hold the possibility of mystery and the unknown. In the murk of a mundane pond the imagination takes hold....

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