Meaning

Phil Smith, Photo: Ian Hughes.

“It might be possible that the world itself is without meaning.” -Virginia Woolf

Meaning is both fluid and absolute. A place can hold as many stories as those visitors whose feet embrace the ground. Layers upon layers of meaning intertwine to create the story of a place and, whether or not this story is known to all, it exists. The world is a ceaseless collection of memories and experiences layered one on top of the other, silently weaving their own histories. Art seeks to preserve these histories, to crystallize our collective memories and hand them down to those who are yet to tread here.

Cheryl McGinnis is a gallerist, private art dealer, and owner of Cheryl McGinnis Gallery. In her former role as a gallery director, she found ways to allow artists to show their work without having to pay. After parting ways from this position she started her own space in 1995. Today, Cheryl McGinnis Gallery is a contemporary art salon where the integrity of the artist is held to the highest standard. The gallery was an enormous success from the get-go, frequently selling out entire exhibits. McGinnis takes a long view of art collecting. “An art collection is the visual diary of your life,” she says. In 2008, the financial crash severely affected the art business. McGinnis used the moment to move her space to another area of New York City. Through her gallery, McGinnis has grown and supported the careers of the artists she shows, many of whom are women. Today, throughout all her gallery spaces, the salon model allows for more involvement with the art inviting people to come in and take tea and talk about the work.

Phil Smith is an English performer, writer, and researcher. His recent book Anywhere is the culmination of nearly twenty years work walking throughout Devon County. In 2010, Smith published the book Mythogeography draws on the concept of psychogeography and explores walking without destination while distancing itself from the occult theme of psychogeography but maintaining the politics of the movement. Mythogeography does not give privilege to any one part of the overall concept in the way that psychogeography favors the supernatural aspect. Rather it is an examination of how the many layers move with each other. Smith finds that for any given place, there are myriad narratives that speak to every imaginable conceptual layer. Each of these narratives, as well as the documented history of a place, are given equal status as they combine to form the whole of a place.

A Few Words to Keep in your Pocket:

The place where you stand holds the memories of a thousand lives.

Additional interviews include John Halpern, Lenore Malen, Barbara Londonand Kimberly Brooks.

Interviews are available on iTunes as podcasts, and for Android please click here. All weekly essay pieces in a shareable format are here. The full archive of interviews here.

Books to Read

What are you reading? Add your titles to our reading list here.  Harry Samtur is reading Generosity by Richard Powers. Phil Smith’s Mythogeography explores the many layers of walking.

Opportunities / Open Calls

BEERS London invites artists worldwide, at any stage of their careers to submit for the winter, 2018 group exhibition. Past winners of this juried exhibition have gone on to solo shows and other noteworthy opportunities. Deadline for submissions is October 30.

Deadlines

Weekly Edited Grant and Residency Deadlines – review the list here.

4 COMMENTS

  1. I love your emails…it is an Awakening
    Then I become
    Confused
    story of my Art filled youth
    when given the narrative or theme
    Iwould feverishly attack
    w\out regard for time, place, space.
    I am thankful to revisit this feeling or energy
    Now..that I am old
    may be indication for some resolution.

  2. I consistently feel huge gratitude for the service you provide with your sharings and work. It is so deep and wide and rich — both the service to artists, to history, to the advancement of a richer more storied culture. From the stories to the opportunities to the hidden gems. Such good stuff. Thank you.

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