We make much these days of the growing inability for the average person to see things that are plainly within sight (hello, incipient fascist dictatorship!) — and that makes it extra-special when an artist possesses the ability to see something that isn’t there at all.
“While it is not uncommon to look at a building plan or a page with areas highlighted, it was difficult to admit that this was how I saw the waking world,” says Corrie Baldauf. The Detroit-based conceptual artist possesses a kind of highlighter vision: fields of negative space will light up in her consciousness, drawing her attention to, for example, the empty spaces left in a lecture hall, rather than the occupied seats. She’s addressed the phenomenon through projects like her Optimism Filters, colorful plexiglass filters that she uses to tint or highlight photographs, replicating her mental experience. In her most recent, and largest-scale, public project, Baldauf has pushed through the sometimes isolating barrier of her own perception and triggered a massive, coordinated effort to make one of her visions reality.
Image: Installation view, Corrie Baldauf, “GOLD ZERO” (2016) (photo by Jack Johnstone, courtesy of Corrie Baldauf)