I’ve explored the idea of interconnectedness for many years and my fascination with the notion continues. In the last few years I’ve also begun to consider my relationship to my origins and my place and purpose of being in the universe. Having reached a “certain age”, I’ve begun to think about time, the universe, and my very, very miniscule place in it. With passing time my existence becomes perceptibly more fragile. Considering the concept of time is humbling and is in many senses a reminder that our human minds are limited in our ability to not only grasp but also to acknowledge the limits of our bodies and perceptions.
I’ve chosen the title, “Compass”, for my current body of work because as the word is defined, it denotes boundaries and peripheries, constructs imposed by humans to help us feel situated and safe in a universe that is beyond our comprehension in terms of size and time, of scope. When I was making these works I ruminated on the impulses behind the creation of human-made ordering devices such as constellations, maps, and timelines including family histories and heredity.
There is a deep human need to stave off the real or perceived chaos of our existence. One of my goals for this work is to create a vague sense of slippage, of an impending loss of balance that reflects the tenuousness of my sense of equilibrium. We humans balk and start at any sense of uncertainty. But human-made measuring devices are never objective given that, say for example in the case of “time”, the concept is so culturally driven. Constellations were a way for people to mark time, to create a sense of predictability, to map space, to try to bring order to the unfathomable largeness of the universe. The pictures in the sky flattened and simplified the night for our forebears. But where we see the Big Dipper, we now know that the stars that make up the picture can be thousands or millions of miles apart in their distance from us. These pictures result from simultaneity, not from a two-dimensional “reality”.
“Compass” does not ultimately try to delineate. It reflects the very real human need to know our universe. It mirrors the dis-ease of mortality. And it makes concrete our present, past, and future connections to our origins.
--Connie Goldman, February, 2019