In her installation Diane Samuels explores relationships between readers and writers, residents and visitors, image and text, spectators and events, and experience and memory.
Living on Sampsonia’s alleyway, Samuels has literally chronicled each crack of the 828-foot long street, and given the opportunity to walk the alley, viewers discover that she has filled one continuous crack with gold leaf. Over a 6-month period, using the cross-streets of Monterey and Sherman as physical parentheses, Samuels photographed the alley in 16” x 24” sections. A 30-foot Iris print depicts the alley’s surface in minute topographical detail, and is covered by a glass overlay, etched and penciled with oral histories Samuels collected and overheard during interactions with Sampsonia’s residents and passersby. Additionally, visitors encounter a 28-foot section of the alley consisting of 84 tiles that Samuels cast in plaster and installed on the gallery floor. As viewers move toward an outdoor viewing space to peer through a scope fixed on Sampsonia Way below, they walk across a video projection that captures satellite, aerial and close-up views of Sampsonia Way and its place in the world.
In her installation entitled Mapping Sampsonia Way, Diane Samuels explores relationships between readers and writers, residents and visitors, image and text, spectators and events, and experience and memory. As a resident of Sampsonia Way since 1980, Samuels delves into the ongoing relationship between history, community and oral narration, and the individuals who create those narrations. Her installation draws upon the rich history of the Northside’s Mexican War Streets where the Mattress Factory resides, and also uses the voices and experiences of its residents to create this visual recollection of her neighborhood.
I am interested in exploring the fragility and status of memory in the context of history and how stories (and memories)—as personal, artistic, and social artifacts—are made and evolve and are consumed. I do take seriously the premise that the world can be experienced as a book. Insofar as we make it together and assert meaning to the making, to live in the world is, thus, inevitably to be both a reader and a writer.
Diane Samuels received both her BFA and MFA from Carnegie Mellon University. She has as Diploma from Harvard University, Institute in Arts Administration. She is a Visual Artist who uses other people’s words to create her work.