Augusta Wood’s "leaning on the margin" is an exhibition of colorfully directed, suggestively performative photographs taken by the artist in a variety of locations, both public and private. Upending our sense of the photograph as a neutral document, Wood’s square-formatted works include passages of handwritten text. In a work like "unfolding in pieces," (2006), the text is entwined with the image; here, written in the sand of a vast secluded beach like a castaway’s desperate SOS. In "i used to live outside new memory," (2006), the writing is penned by a finger smearing leftover oil paint on the glass palette in an artist’s studio surrounded by ephemera and unfinished paintings.
Wood’s images speak directly to us as viewers, facilitating and interrupting the normal course of the viewing process. Asked to become an author, or to at least collaborate with what we see depicted, we are directed to reflect not only on the content of the image, but also on our encounter of and impact upon it. The result is a conflation of iconic and literary space in which the distinction between visual and written forms is unclear: at once true and fictional, both document and construction, referential and solicitous, Wood’s works propose intimate moments that we somehow engender with our presence, but never fully understand.
Augusta Wood received a MFA from the California Institute of the Arts in 2005. She was recently featured in Somewhere Better Than This Place / Nowhere Better Than This Place, organized by Evelyn Serrano at One Night Gallery Project in Havana, Cuba. Wood will be featured in an upcoming 2007 exhibition at Galleria Paolo Bonzano, Rome, Italy.