Dawn Roe, associate professor of art, will present an exhibition of works, Conditions for an Unfinished Work of Mourning, at the Tracey Morgan Gallery in Asheville, North Carolina. The exhibition will be in the project gallery and will hang alongside an exhibition of works from fellow gallery artist Sharon Core.
Roe began this series on the coastal border of France and Spain in the summer of 2017, along a network of trails crossing through the Pyrenees Mountains. The initial intention was to closely examine the sites surrounding the specific footpath taken by philosopher and cultural theorist Walter Benjamin during his ill-fated attempt to flee Nazi persecution in 1940. Known as the F-Route (after resistance leader Lisa Fiitko), this trail intersects with related paths of exile traversed by over half a million refugees during the Spanish Civil War and World War II. These overlapping narratives became equally vital to the production of the work.
In this series, Roe produced works using digital photography and video as well as cyanotype. A camera-less technique, cyanotypes record imprints of duration, invariably speaking to both presence and absence at once. Roe chose to employ this technique knowing that she would regularly be working outdoors in sunlight within a particular space of memory and loss.
Instead of creating precise documentation of objects or forms as we often see with cyanotypes, Roe chose to document more intimate personal interactions with the space using the photo-sensitized cloth and paper she carried with her each day to record her interactions in relation to both atmospheric and material conditions, engaging with the natural terrain, its rocks, shadows, and vegetation. The resulting works include both original and reproduced cyanotypes that have been digitized and printed to vinyl, or aluminum, and video streams depicting the artist manipulating elements within each scene.
Conditions for an Unfinished Work of Mourning coincide with the two-person exhibition, essay, v., at RAMP Gallery for Revolve Studios, including works by Dawn Roe and Leigh-Ann Pahapill. Working alongside one another in the city of Portbou and surrounding coastal regions of Spain, longtime collaborators Roe and Pahapill each produced distinct works in response to these sites that will come together in this exhibition.