Sarah Campbell

Student Artist-in-Residence 2020-21
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Artist Statement

Portals exist within reality, which can multiply or extend access to the real. These access points are not separate or separated from reality, in that one instance of a real is needed to fashion extended realities. Portals are transparencies or transports into an extended real based off of another, already present real. An example of a portal “at-hand” is technology. Technology can be simple or complex in how it acts as a portal. Glass can be simultaneously looked at and through. Social media platforms engage access to subjects, objects, ideas and geographies

Portals often distort, such as the worlds they evoke. When looking at the exterior of a car’s sheen, the world is shown in a car-shaped reflection, causing squashing or stretching. Words can also be portals, shown through Derrida’s concept of différance (difference and deferral of meaning), poetics and musicality. Portals can move around, similar to how our world can move around in a larger beyond (space). In the paintings displayed here, there are portals. By looking at portals, our own world ultimately appears more strange.

Being-in-the world is strange. Technology and visual reflections allow for people to have multiple existences at one time. These paintings have been a vehicle to explore the strangeness of being, observing existence, multiplied. Each time a mark is made and a surface changed, the mark in its ability to remain singular and/or connect with the other marks, portals. Being-in-multiple is default. There is a set of reactions to actions that one puts forth, extending
being in many directions.

Thinking about one’s self as also being extensional not only generates a feeling of vastness or omniscience, but also an understanding that we are interacting with extension, itself. Heidegger uses the word “ursprunglich” in Being and Time to describe being-the-source (primordial). People can be the origins of extended beings. You can see portals within portals, acting as a sort of layering of worlds existing only on mutual reliance. These paintings, similarly, rely on each other to bring themselves into the world and could not have existed without each other. Portals spark wonder in reality by revealing itself to itself, by evoking changes, distortions or repetitions that still— somehow—ever appear grounded to a real.