The idea of a tipping point underlies my recent work. It is an idea that inheres in almost all social behaviour. It defines the moment of critical mass, an uncertain threshold in a secular society. It is the point at which an object or mood is knocked out of a state of balance into a different state.
Sometimes big changes follow from small events. All three texts in this book speak of changes in which something previously extraordinary becomes ordinary, or something familiar becomes unfamiliar (and vice versa). I want my work to occupy that critical, dynamic, yet ambiguous moment—a moment, for example, like that in which a viewer looks down a road or into a dark forest. For me, the work possesses a sense of loss or melancholy, as displacement is inevitable.
The work included in this book dates from the last three years or so and freely mixes images of forests with abstractions. Both work a common ground. The drawings are composed of streams of lines and dots, which converge, diverge, or coalesce, to reveal and obscure definition.
The underlying aesthetic principle is to undermine the pictorial order of the image so that it oscillates between scores of tiny lines converging into a representational formation and those lines and dots dispersing into abstract patterns across the picture plane. I want to let the perception of the image be defined by the position of the observer, which affects the experience of the work. This perception may be either heimlich or unheimlich (the condition in which something can be familiar yet foreign, producing a feeling of it being uncomfortably strange).
Images of roads, corridors, forests, and other transitional places appear in my work as diagrams for journeying; they make reference to the margins and temporal nature of present-day life while questioning how dual positions of home and displacement condition us as human beings.
I use a digital drawing process as a way to work out ideas. I scan drawings into the computer so I can manipulate them in Photoshop and use the digital process to analyse meaning and pictorial structures in the work. In the process, many drawings end up on the studio floor or remain in the computer and, despite their possibilities, will not make it to exhibition; yet, they are integral to the project and some of these “failures” are included in the book.
Anita Groener March 2010