Primary Sources My work often begins with found texts--books that might help me think through the awkwardness of the present. Making my way through their descriptions and images I find myself searching for signs (an accidental shoulder in the scene, a description repeated like in a dream). Images from the past, even the very recent past, can act as routes or tunnels through “now”. It takes a while. My body is involved. Whose images, whose descriptions, whose maps did we use to get here?
I think about these texts—and the images and descriptions they contain—as part of an image-inheritance that has shaped the geographical imaginary, all the more powerful for having slipped into the obscurity of the past. Pulling them apart I pay attention to the way these images have whispered to me, poisoned me, fed me. This is not an analytical process. My body learned the tricks and I am trying to use my body as a tool to unlearn the text (my hands holding the exacto, cutting the images, pinning them to the wall, spreading the glue along a new joint). I think of each piece, or series, or exhibition, as a new “epic” text that can be physically encountered all at
once, without having to turn the pages.
Texts include: The Jefferson Bible (1820); US Military Blogs and Websites (2003-2015); The First Photographic Atlas of the Milky Way by E.E. Barnard (1927); Visual Essays by Joseph Rock published in the National Geographic (1924-1930); Phenomena of Materialization by Albert Von Notzig (1914); Glimpses of the World by John Stoddard (1892); The Chicago World's Fair Catalog (1893)
Selena Kimball is a visual artist whose work—large-scale photomontage, installation, film and book projects—mines the images that have shaped the phenomenal world. Her focus, in particular, is on the photographic evidence that occupies the space between the document and fiction. A native of Maine, Kimball earned her BFA in sculpture from The Rhode Island School of Design and her MFA in combined media from Hunter College. She is an NYSCA/ NYFA and MacDowell fellow, a recipient of two Pollock-Krasner awards, the Jerome Foundation Study and Travel grant, and an Asian Cultural Council Award.
Kimball has had solo exhibitions at Wolfstaedter Gallery, Frankfurt, Germany (2018, 2015, 2013, 2012), The Gallery@1GAP at Richard Meier on Prospect Park (2018), Morgan Lehman Gallery, New York City (2015), and Entropia Gallery, Wroclaw, Poland (2012). Kimball was invited as part of a commissioned “silent” sound series that included Sophie Calle at Temple Contemporary curated by Rob Blackson (2012). She has exhibited internationally in group exhibitions at Bates College Museum of Art, Maine (2014), 33 Orchard, New York City (2014), the Katonah Museum of Art, New York (2013), Feature, Inc., New York City (2011, 2013), The Daum Museum of Contemporary Art, Missouri (2012), The Portland Museum of Art, Maine (2012) Eastern Bloc Centre for New Media and Interdisciplinary Art, Montreal, Canada (2011), Participant, New York City (2011), Yautepec Gallery, Mexico City (2009). Her work has been reviewed in The Boston Globe, Frankfurter Zeitung, and The New York Observer.
In addition to solo work, Kimball has embraced long-term collaborations. Shortly after graduating from RISD in 2007, Kimball began to collaborate on book projects with the Polish writer and art historian Agnieszka Taborska. Their first was the collage novel The Dreaming Life of Leonora de La Cruz (editions include: Gdansk 2004/ reprinted in 2013, slowo/obraz teryrtoria; New York 2007, Midmarch Arts Press; Paris 2007, Édition Interférences; Mexico City, Auieo Ediciones 2014) and their most recent book “The Unfinished Life of Phoebe Hicks” received the Stanislaus Roskam PTKW award for “the most beautiful book of the year”. It was published by slowo/obraz teryrtoria, Gdansk, Poland in October of 2013.. Exhibitions of the collages from this collaboration have been mounted at The Museum of Contemporary Art, Warsaw (2001), Krytyków Pokaz Gallery, Warsaw (2004), and Szara Kamienica Gallery, Krakow (2013).
Kimball’s transdisciplinary collaboration with the visual anthropologist Alyssa Grossman comes out of a mutual interest in history, memory and the everyday. Their work has been shown internationally over the last two decades, with screenings and installations at the Museum Hat Valkhof, Nijmegen, the Netherlands (2014), the National Museum of Estonia, Tartu (2013), the Arkipel International Documentary & Experimental Film Festival, Indonesia (2013), The Future Perfect Gallery, Singapore (2013), Worldfilm Festival of Visual Culture, Estonia (2013), The 6th Experimental Film Festival, Bangkok (2012) and the Festival of Visual Anthropology, Poland (2012), among others. Working as the collective General Assn. they are currently finishing a project about rocks housed within the Gothenburg Museum of World Culture Archives in Sweden.