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Judith Golden,
Elusive Realities: The Tarot


Exhibition:  Judith Golden, Elusive Realities: The Tarot

Dates: January 14 – February 23, 2004

Opening Reception: January 21, 5:30 -7:30

Location:Temple Gallery, 330 South Scott Avenue, in the Temple of Music and Art. The Temple Gallery is managed by Etherton Gallery

Gallery Hours: Monday-Friday, 10-6 p.m. and prior to performances

Contact:  Jerre Johnston   624-7370

Contents:  Based on the archetypes of the Tarot, Judith Golden’s new photographically based mixed media works entitled, Elusive Realities, explore the complex dynamic between illusion and reality, the alchemy of identification and our eternal connection to everything. 

Golden’s allegorical portraits, based on the major cards of the Tarot are a narrative exploration of the universal soul, which is, as she states, “the essence of that divine spark, the eternal connection of everything.” Having studied the twenty-two Major Arcana or Trump cards of the Tarot for fifteen years Golden finds herself “continually seeking ways to present the surface of illusion and the essence of reality.”  Just as the Querent, the skilled practitioner or reader of the Tarot, relates the symbology of the cards as they “fall” in a reading, the viewer also falls into a new reading of an old text. As the vehicle of expression and interpreter in her journey through the Tarot’s text Golden is the reader, the Querent, and the storyteller. Golden’s narratorial comment and textual mirroring alludes to the poetics of enigma, play, and resistance to fixed meaning.

Every work of art is an incarnation of poetical necessity, invested not only with technique and process, but a complex of attitudes and ideas. As such, Golden’s allegorical portraits incorporate the archetypal nature of psychological portraiture associated with the nineteenth century work of Julia Margaret Cameron. Golden’s process of layering, that includes painting and collaging elements on a Polaroid transfer print that she scans into the computer, contributes to the sum of possible meanings that metaphoricity implies.

There are a number of systems for reading the Tarot and many interpretations of its symbolic and metaphoric meanings. Some regard the Tarot primarily as a mechanism for spiritual development as well as an intellectual discipline and magical process. As Kubler Ross states in The Shape of Time, “By definition a formal sequence exceeds the capacity of any individual to exhaust its possibilities in one lifetime…one can imagine more than one can execute.” Each reader selects their own meanings or rejects them all and makes their own. In this way the Tarot may be used as it may have been originally intended by an unknown maker –as an intellectual and intuitive tool for imagining systems –for destroying and for creating them.

As the Querent and the Trickster, Golden is the self at the beginning of the dream journey meandering through the internal, partly visual, completely imagined dream work of unconscious thinking. Secrets, errors, the sighs measure in a darkened room, “the moment that speaks worlds,” the poem behind,

Your hands at the curtain of the water’s wall before the form materializes its desire

...it is through this exploration of the Tarot’s narrative that Golden reanimates the symbolic nature of allegory, divining our historical consciousness, and reassembling the meaning of our time.

For three decades Judith golden has been a committed and accomplished artist. Her work has helped define the history of women exploring self and society through visual media since the 1970s when she was first recognized as a distinctive creative voice. With the medium of photography as her foundation, Golden innovatively explores the intersections between reality and illusion by combining traditional techniques and contemporary cultural references, handwork and technology, rational discovery and uncharted flights of fantasy. Working in series, Golden inventories the myths and methods of human consciousness while revealing the powers of nature and the mysteries of time. Her work continues to evolve with rich new subjects, returning iconic themes, and unending questions.

Gallery hours are Monday - Friday 10am-6pm
and prior to Arizona Theatre Company performances

The Temple Gallery is managed by
Phone: 520-624-7370

at the Temple of Music and Art
330 South Scott Avenue
Tucson, Arizona

Etherton - Temple Gallery