Kathryn Dunlevie: Metaphysical Tomfoolery
by Gerald Brett, Founder and Director, Language Pacifica
Kathryn Dunlevie, Cover Versions, May, 2011.
Kathryn Dunlevie's new work, described as "mixed media on vintage album covers", continues the artist's rambunctious manipulation of exceptional and mundane imagery, bringing to mind Joseph Cornell's poetry boxes. LIke the celebrated surrealist's work, Dunlevie enthralls us with the pageant of images culled from her found and created pool of sights, and also the fragments of these reproductions when fit into her poetic vision. One thinks, too, of the concept of "liminality" as articulated by van Gennep which refers to "in-between situations and conditions that are characterized by the dislocation of established structures, the reversal of hierarchies, and uncertainty regarding the continuity of tradition and future outcomes."
With her transformed album covers, Dunlevie moves into metaphorical tomfoolery, brazenly introducing the anticipation of music in addition to her representational plethora, yet we all know an album cover only bespeaks the existence of music, in the same way a warm whisper in a lover’s ear might portend a looming sensual experience. In haptic poetry, objects are created to be perceived in a variety of ways, not just visually. Dunlevie’s new works make us wonder what sounds to expect to hear once we discover what’s up her sleeve.