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DSPP and the Arts

SUSAN KAE GRANT GALLERY TALK

 

Night Journey

The Arts Committee of Dallas Society for Psychoanalytic Psychology
presents
"
Night Journey"
a gallery talk by Susan kae Grant
Sunday, May 7
5:00-7:00 p.m.

5501 Columbia Art Center in Dallas


The Arts Committee of Dallas Society for Psychoanalytic Psychology will present "Night Journey," a gallery talk by Susan kae Grant, Sunday, May 7, 5:00-7:00 p.m., at the 5501 Columbia Art Center in Dallas. Ms. Grant will be talking about her photographic installation of dream imagery, which opened on April 1 and will be shown at the gallery through May 13. She will be introduced by John Herman,Ph.D., DSPP Arts Committee member, clinical psychologist at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas and co-director of the Sleep Center at Children's Medical Center and at UT Southwestern. Grant applied for and received a Fulty Development grant from Texas Woman's University to sleep in the UT Southwestern Medical Center sleep-research facility in order to conduct awakenings on herself for her research. She and Herman became colleagues when she contacted him to work on the project.  Under his supervision, technicians were trained in awakening questions and procedures designed to elicit the exact sequence of visual details while the interview was taped.

Barbara McCandless, Curator of Photographs at the Amon Carter Museum writes "Some think that in dreams we consolidate our memories, processing thoughts and experience, but the dream-world remains elusive to our conscious mind, almost immediately slipping from memory. As an artist, Ms. Grant was captivated by the fleeting visual images of the dream state and the fragmentary nature of dream memory. She had frequently incorporated dream bits into her artwork. In February 1993, she began a seven-year journey into the unconscious world that we inhabit nightly, intertwining scientific inquiry into the state of existence known as REM sleep with her innate artistic sensibilities."
Gallery Exhibit Photo
"Under the supervision of Herman...who had been conducting his own research into the visual nature of dreams, Grant slept successive nights in the specialized sleep-research facility. Electrodes connected to various points on her body recorded brain waves, muscle activity, eye movements, heartbeat, and respiration. With all these distractions, Grant initially resisted falling into rapid eye movement sleep where vivid dreams occur. After nights of REM deprivation, she eventually entered this stage of sleep with great frequency, enabling research technicians to awaken her."

"Scientists have found that when awakened abruptly from REM sleep, individuals are able to recall dreams in vivid detail. As video and audio equipment recorded, research technicians repetitively woke Grant from REM sleep and asked her to describe the images she had seen in her mind's eye.   Their questions were designed to evoke visual clues that would then trigger deeper recall. When the procedure concluded, Grant took the scientific records of her experience and reconstructed the written chronology of her dreams with the assistance of transcriptions of the taped interviews."

"When she considered the dilemma of translating the written chronicle into visual form, Grant resisted a natural tendency to illustrate her dreams with narrative form, preferring instead to portray them as a series of fleeting visual images that merge from one to another. Alluding to the virtual nature of dreams, Grant avoided the specificity of straight photography and instead constructed images totally from shadows projected by models and studio props. Shadowy leaves and branches throughout the images contribute to the effect of being in a dream landscape."

"In the installation, images printed on translucent 4' by 8' chiffon panels hang from the ceiling, inviting viewers to virtually enter Grant's dream world. The ethereal figures gesture into the air or reach toward objects, some identifiable and some mysterious--a bird, a mirror, or a "genie" lamp. In several of the images, two figures--one male and one female--interact with each other, sometimes with a sense of conflict. As the figures' actions and the objects seem to hold some symbolic meaning, they encourage speculation, yet resist traditional psychological interpretation. Instead, the overall impression is experiential, of being in the dream, where images change too quickly and fade from memory."

Ms. Grant, head of the Photography and Book Arts program at Texas Woman's University in Denton, Texas, since 1981, received both a B.S. (1976) and a M.F.A. (1979) from the University of Wisconsin at Madison. She lives in Dallas. She also teaches at the International Center of Photography in New York and conducts workshops nationally. She has had other solo shows at the Anchorage Museum of Art and History in Alaska and at the Emily Edwards Gallery of the Southwest Craft Center in San Antonio. She has participated in group photographic shows internationally. Her current exhibition is supported in part by Contemporary Culture, Documentary Arts, Texas Commission on the Arts, Texas Woman's University, UT Southwestern Medical Center, Fish Textiles, City Color and private contributions.

The special gallery opening and talk by Ms. Grant for DSPP on May 7 will include discussion, a cocktail reception for the artist, and an opportunity to talk with her about her work. Dr. Herman, who has chosen in his series of projects to ignore the dream narrative and focus instead on the visual properties of dream images and the simultaneous physiological activity during REM sleep, will also be available to discuss his work. Grant and Herman will be teaching a joint workshop this summer at Anderson Ranch Arts Center in Snowmass Village, Colorado.

The 5501 Columbia Art Center is located at 5501 Columbia Avenue in Dallas between Munger Boulevard and Beacon Street, north of I-30. For more information about the May 7 event, call Judith Samson at 214-691-7434.

There will be a wine and cheese reception for Susan Grant and John Herman as part of the event, and we need RSVP's so we can plan quantities. So DO come, DO bring friends and significant others, and DO RSVP to:

Judith Samson, Ph.D.
5952 Royal Lane, Suite 162
Dallas, Texas 75230
(214) 691-7434
Fax: (2l4) 69l-36l6

E-Mail: jgsamson@swbell.net

Contact Judith Samson for additional information.

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