C. Tara Gladden
Artist - Curator - Educator
My Celestial Body
photocopies, gold leaf, sound, black light, canvas, acrylic
Several years ago we were invited by Baltimore artist and curator, Kristen Anchor to create a site-specific, multi-media experience inspired by the work of Esta Nesbitt. As it turns out, Esta Nesbitt was a total polymath, and one of the most notable projects in her repertoire was that she was the first-ever, artist-in-residence for Xerox and invented the medium of copy art. As media/performance artists, what resulted from this research and influence was a performance that included live video, live sound, and live interactions with photocopy machines in which I photocopied my body. This installation is formed out of a resulting practice of copying myself/body and deconstructing copies of myself/body. In working with copies, I began also to think about loops; how I use them as a sound artist, and how we are surrounded by loops in nature. The loop brought me to the circle, and working with the circle brought me to thinking about celestial forms. While thinking about and working with circles as celestial forms, I began to think about my body in the greater context of the universe at large, and quotes such as Carl Sagen’s “The cosmos is within us. We are made of star-stuff. We are a way for the universe know itself” came to mind in the process. My Celestial Body is an installation that is about our interconnectedness to everything and each other, the vast unknown, and being OK –maybe- with the idea of returning to the great oblivion someday as stardust.