BAR Magazine

Issue 02

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In Conversation: Creighton Baxter

Artist Profile

by BAR Editorial

5 February 2018

Creighton Baxter, Performance no.1 at CASTLEDRONE Gallery (2018) Image Courtesy of Tom Maio

At the CASTLEDRONE gallery space in Hyde Park, Massachusetts, Creighton Baxter’s month long residency welcomed audiences into a series of intimate performances. Baxter is a SMFA alum currently based in Los Angeles. Her return to Boston acted as an emotional, physical, and spatial catalyst which was generously supported by the community through a kickstarter campaign in December of 2017. During the course of her residency, Baxter conducted four public performances using drawing, the body, memory, and space as durational markers in time.

 

 

In this studio interview, Creighton Baxter enters into dialogue with Maggie Cavallo and Anthony Palocci Jr. (Co-Directors of Castledrone) before her final performance. Throughout her residency, the studio acted as an evolving landscape, a marker of time, a memory of what was, and a foreshadowing of what is to come. Audiences played an essential role in her performances; acting as both witnesses and participants to memory, trauma, and time.

Time itself became a ubiquitous being in the performance space.The relationship that developed between objects and materials acted as a powerful force for cataloguing the passage and conflation of time. The performances built upon each other as markings and remnants from previous happenings remained. Baxter remarked that,

“The materials are these ways to record time. They are objects that I can use to catalyze my exploration of the space. An object balancing in space allows me to see a horizon line–one that I can work against or along with.” 

The objects, coupled with Baxter’s gestures, draw upon notions of the body as a vessel- a site specific space for exploration. Through repetitious, durational actions, her work encourages us to consider the lived experiences of our own bodies, – loss, pain, power and stress and references to the artist’s concerns with the temporalities of chronic illness, trans status and the health care system.

Creighton Baxter, Performance no.2 at CASTLEDRONE Gallery (2018) Image Courtesy of Tom Maio

Baxter’s captivating presence is enough to fill a room, shatter its windows, then pull a heavy curtain around its entirety. Though certainly impossible to fully capture the magnitude of her work, we are gracious for the opportunity to document, converse, and share in this experience.

If you missed Creighton Baxter, she’ll be back in no time! CASTLEDRONE will be featuring a two person exhibition with photography from Baxter’s residency and paintings by Steve Locke. Stay tuned by visiting the CASTLEDRONE site or keeping up with them on Instagram.