Calin Dan

May - June, 2008

Calin Dan interweaves found photographs, sound, and manipulations of video to evoke the emotional and psychological experience of a place. That experience is first visual—made up of what is seen, what is remembered, and what can be projected onto an environment. I invited Calin Dan to Charleston hoping that this place would provoke and inspire him—the results of the encounter are found in the gallery under the title Azimuth of Fissure, a phrase drawn from a haunting photograph of a geological fissure left by Charleston’s 1886 earthquake.


Calin Dan

Included in the exhibition are several works from the artist’s Emotional Architecture series, each related to a particular place: sony/wmf/pp to Amsterdam, Sample City to Bucharest, Romania, Trip to Tallinn, Estonia, and the new work inspired by Charleston. Using documentary images from the 1886 earthquake preserved in the holdings of the South Caroliniana Library at USC, 19th century and 20th century photographs from area archives, audio from films such as The Patriot, and video material gathered on-site, Dan focuses our attention on the complex, mixing layers of time and experience left on our buildings, on our city, and on our culture—and what we make of them in our lives today. For Dan, these images contain the ghostly traces of the past that leave fissures on our present—like the post-earthquake fissures left on the landscape, the cracks in the structure of Randolph Hall, and the remnants of history that project into our present. Fissures are also separating forces, cracks that open between spaces, allowing us to manipulate what we see and understand about our environment.

The Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art is pleased to present this new work by the artist, his first project in the United States. A native of Romania now living in Amsterdam, much of Dan’s work has been based in Europe. Generous support of Calin Dan’s visits to Charleston and this exhibition was provided by the Mondriaan Foundation of the Netherlands, and the College of Charleston, including the Provost’s Discretionary Fund, the Dean of the School of the Arts, and the Dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences.

Calin Dan would like to extend special thanks to those who assisted with the Charleston project, including Nicholas Butler, Special Collections Manager at the Charleston County Library, James L. Ward, Assistant Professor of Historic Preservation at the College of Charleston, and Beth Bilderback, Visual Materials Archivist at the South Caroliniana Library at the University of South Carolina.

Marian Mazzone, Curator
Art History Department
College of Charleston

Community Partners 2017