Text and photos by Nicole Lasquety
“Studio Studies” which is on view at Vargas Museum allows us to get a glimpse of what goes on in Dy’s studio. A studio is a place where concept gives birth to creation. The art objects–what were once studies–now take on a new context in the gallery.
With his background in seminary, Dy’s studio takes on the tone of a sacred place. First in view is a candle with the mold or cast used to shape it along with a ceramic container for the candle set upon a small shelf. It creates the aura of a little altar for prayer. Psalm 51, a passage about asking God for cleansing, is inscribed on the ceramic. The passage ends with the psalmist telling God that once he becomes right with Him, his sacrifices will please Him.
To its left is an ostrich egg, carefully placed on a nest. The egg is inscribed with a passage from John 1: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (v.1), a passage that can only be understood in comparison to its self-reflexive reference: Genesis 1:1, which says, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth”.
The Word refers to Jesus Christ, the Creator, not the created. He exists on his own from the beginning of time. By His word, the universe was created, apart from man whom He formed out of the dust. In an article entitled, “Why Does the Bible Call Jesus “The Word”” Carey Kinsolving explains “The revelation of God starts with creation, but it doesn’t end there. God is personal. Creation is God’s general revelation, but Jesus Christ is God’s personal message to us” (Kinsolving, 2014)
Finally, two projectors feature side-by-side videos of an aquarium. On the left is the word “care “and on the right, “control”. Care and control both refer to what goes on in curating art. The word “curate” comes from the Latin word “curatus” from “cura” which means “care”. When one curates an exhibit, one must care for the artworks, paying mind that they are displayed in a conducive environment, which involves controlling what is presented and how they are presented.
This calls to mind a line from “RED”, a play by John Logan about the renowned painter, Mark Rothko that goes “People think I’m controlling: controlling the light; controlling the height of the pictures; controlling the shape of the gallery. . . . It’s not controlling—it’s protecting.”
– Rothko, “Red” John Logan
This article is part of a series of submissions from the “Art Writing for Media” workshop hosted by Art+ Magazine and Kwago.