The Notes to Nonself animation by Diane Christiansen with Shelley Dodson and Matt Marsden is projected from 4 pm to 10 pm daily on the Jackman Goldwasser Catwalk Gallery. Notes to Nonself, a new and lively multi-media art installation by Diane Christiansen and Shoshanna Utchenik, sends the viewer on a journey through collective virtues, vices, and resulting neuroses common to the American experience. A tongue-in-cheek physical representation of the psyche, visitors are invited to wander the Ego Forest, wade through the Relationship Bardo, then take solace in the Meditation Clubhouse. The immersive artwork combines the qualities of Tibetan Thangka paintings, cartoon animation, alternative music, board games and pop-up books to provide a pathway into the human subconscious. The abundant drawings, sculptures, paintings, animation, and audio work presented together in Notes to Nonself explore themes of impermanence, sensory overload, mind chatter and psychological refuge While making the work Utchenik, who resides in Ljubljana, Slovenia and Christiansen who lives in Chicago dialogued via email, Skype, and in-person meeting. Their method of communicating not only bridged the physical distance between the two, but also led the artists to ponder the impossibility of personal connections despite our deep, endless desire to form them. Notes to Nonself is inspired by what the artists refer to as the “constant struggle for balance and meaning within the schizophrenically introspected and extroverted life.” The artwork aims to provide the viewer with a temporary, meditative refuge from the chaos of selfhood.
About Diane Christiansen
Diane Christiansen studied at Grinnell College, the Kansas City Art Institute, and Loyola University; she received a MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and she currently lives in Chicago. She has exhibited her artwork nationwide for over twenty years and her work can be seen on record album covers for the rock/alt-country band Dolly Varden, of which she is co-founder and contributing vocalist. Christiansen is also a practicing psychotherapist in Wicker Park, an occupation that influences her work. Her work is represented by Kasia Kay Art Projects Gallery (Chicago).
About Shoshanna Utchenik
Shoshanna Utchenik lives in Slovenia and lived and worked in Chicago for twelve years prior to her move overseas. She holds a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a MFA from Northwestern University’s Department of Art Theory and Practice. She has worked as an interdisciplinary artist, curator, puppeteer, theatrical designer, director and builder. Her work has been strongly influenced by her teaching experiences at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Hyde Park Art Center, Gallery 37 and Urban Gateways.