v i s u a l  f i c t i o n 

r o s a m o n d   c a s e y

 “All art is image-making and all
image-making is rooted in
the creation of substitutes.”

E.H. Gombrich
Meditations on a Hobby Horse


Mapping the Dark: A Museum of Ambient Disorders originated as a gallery installation by the artist, Rosamond Casey, at the McGuffey Art Center in Charlottesville, Virginia in March 2003. The artist has created ten works of visual fiction, which are ‘collaborations’ with imaginary characters. The works are psychological portraits that begin with the ‘art’ or visual material her characters have left behind as a residue of a peculiar turn of mind: a worry, a craving, a secret wish or loss.

A Museum of Ambient Disorders is a collection of a collection of books, photographs, collages, sculptures, and paintings. Each piece suggests, through narrative clues and the urgency of the character’s mark, the conditions which have driven each individual to produce the work exhibited. The artist plays the role of collector and curator in addition to straddling the line between self and other.

Placed around the gallery space are small black and white photographs alluding to the characters. The viewer is invited to draw connections between the artwork and the elusive identities in the photographs and to examine the possibility of relationships between characters.

In addition to the individual works, the artist has produced a limited first edition of 45 leather-bound clamshell boxes each containing ten volumes, which fold out into a narrative display of each character’s work.

The boxed version of A Museum of Ambient Disorders is bound in cow leather and black Japanese silk. The interior contains ten 5"x 8" volumes bound with black roofing-rubber covers that are stamped in gold with each work’s title. The title appears again on each spine engraved in a gold metallic strip. Gold eyelets at the top and bottom foredge of each booklet secure a black elastic band that closes the book around its contents. The contents consist of a 7- panel accordion digital photographic presentation of the roughly 100 images that make up the Museum of Ambient Disorders.

Photo Rosamond Casey

When Harold learned that he’d be deaf before

the year was out, the 62 year-old Water

Resource Engineer started collecting the sounds

of his life in bottles, passing them through

the air, labeling them and sealing

them up with corks

for later use.

This piece is presented as a PDF file. To see it, click on the image above.


©2003 Rosamond Casey


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