Newsletter Spring 2019

Reversible: A Conversation with Anna Marie Rockwell

by Milos Zahradka Maiorana, Cohort ’15


I met Anna Marie Rockwell in a philosophy class in graduate school at the San Francisco Art Institute. We were students in the New Genres program and shared an interest in the overlap between art and philosophy. After San Francisco, Rockwell returned to New York City and continued her interdisciplinary practice which includes painting, photography, and text-based work. She is currently enrolled in a Ph.D. program in Philosophy, Art, and Social Thought.

In the three works presented here, she explores the threshold between interior and exterior spaces, subjectivity and institutional power, the transmutation of value, cultural production and aesthetic receptivity. This interview follows an eccentric format that is intended for an audience on the go, where images replace the conventional transcription of words and audio provides the supporting evidence. The audio tracks provide a “reality effect” bringing us closer to an analog experience as opposed to the flattened, information-driven experience of the digital universe.

The first work, Origami Flower Petals (2007), was made in collaboration with Rockwell's brother who, while in solitary confinement, was denied the permission to make origami because the empty space inside  was viewed as a threat to the security of the prison.

Fig. 1.  Origami Flower Petals , 2007.

Fig. 1. Origami Flower Petals, 2007.

The second piece Three Hots (2018) presents three gilded institutional meal trays. The third piece is one snapshot out of an ongoing series of visual encounters (Double Takes) started in 2009.

Fig. 2.  Three Hots , 2018.

Fig. 2. Three Hots, 2018.

Fig. 3.  Double Takes , 2019

Fig. 3. Double Takes, 2019

“She gathers the vestiges and transcribes the hieroglyphs painted in the configuration of obscure or random things. She gives the insignificant details of the prose of the world their power of poetic signification.” - Jacques Rancière