Copy This: Two new gallery shows ask you to adjust your toner by Johnny Ray Houston
Do you copy? If people who still like books -- rather than people who stare at screens all day -- are the zombies, then secret zombie networks are forming and strengthening throughout the Bay Area. . . .
Casual visitors to Steven Wolf Fine Arts routinely mistake Molly Springfield's current show Translation for a series of Xeroxes. In fact, Springfield uses graphite on paper to create a handmade version of photocopied pages from the first chapter of Marcel Proust's In Search of Lost Time. Working from four different editions, Springfield generates 28 drawings, each an uncanny act of meditation and dedication (she's admitted that the couple-weeks-long process of creating a single piece can be physically painful). She renders the ghost scratches where ink doesn't take to the page, and the smudges and waves in the center where two pages meet.
To what end? The subject of matter in its literal and figurative forms has been at the fore of Springfield's past projects. In selecting Proust's classic memory piece as a source to work from — and upon — she mines a rich vein. Speeding ever-faster into a frenzied post-material future, do we only have time to ingest portions of the very beginning of Proust's remembrance? By recreating Proust's text, does Springfield translate it? In the seven-part series A Brief Note on the Translation, she travels through the editorial stages of an introduction she's written for a soon-to-be-published book of these drawings. Stories about her work (and about her collaborator Bill Berkson's connection to Proust's last maid, Celeste Albaret) linger and transform within, and outside of, the text.