Betty Ferguson and Dennis Hunkler

26 May 1981 - 5 June 1981
Opening Reception 26 May 1981 8pm

Front Gallery:

Phantom Oasis

A collaboration between Dennis Hunkler and Betty Ferguson, this multi-media installation combining tape, photographs and slides will examine a structural relationship between speech and image.

The exhibition unfolds in three modules or “stories”; each module exhibits a unification between the integration and disintegration of its subject.

Dennis Hunkler is a graduate of the San Francisco Art Institute and has exhibited his paintings in New York and on the West Coast. He lives in Toronto.

Betty Ferguson attended the Art Students League, New York, in the late ’30’s. She has illustrated many books for Parnassus Press in Berkeley, California and has exhibited sculptures in the Bay Area. She lives in Oakland, California.

Phantom Oasis
Module one consists of sixteen black and white photographs. Each photograph is 18″ x 14″.
The sequence of photographs begins with an out of focus image and is completed with a print of that same image.

Between these images a story takes place.

– the woman hides her face from something occurring in the spectator space
– she wraps herself in plastic and stands as a monument in the shadows of the trees
– she exhibits the symbols of umbrella and bird
– she stands in the Orient with the symbol Of eternity
– she reels bound by the confines of the rational and protects her hands with leather gloves
– at the foot or the tree is a decapitated skull. Beyond is the dark winding river of the future
– she reads the future with field glasses.

Module two consists of approximately sixty tinted slides of typed manuscript and conveys the following story:

A woman, encumbered by her own timidity never leaves the path etched through the grove of tall trees. Curiously she wonders if something stirs in the leafy shade. She is driven home by another route. Days follow days and she still suspects that something stirs in the grove. Early one day she is surprised by spring and she hears the sounds and sees the movements of nature. She seeks freedom away from the path. Who is that waiting for her? It is a summer day when she dies and in the swirl of dust the truck is gone. She lies there beside her comb and pocket calendar and her keys are lost in the grove.

Each slide takes a phrase or a part of a sentence and break it into simple patterns.

Each slide sequences a pattern.

While the whole set of slides exhibits the story.

Module three consists of an endless cassette audio tape that continues to play until the sequence of slides is completed.

The woman’s voice on the tape speaks of early morning, noon and evening.

The monologue describes the process of growing old.

The image in this monologue have their visual counterpart in the photographs.

The voice diminishes as life diminishes.