DISQUIET OBJECTS brings Claire Cronin’s psychic songwriting to the visitors of Monte Vista by inviting the public to share their personal items as source material for her work. Based on a belief that the objects we live with are alive with an invisible charge, Cronin began to experiment with psychometry – the intuitive art of reading the energy held in things.
For each week of her residency at Monte Vista, the artist will select one of the borrowed objects and channel a song based on the impressions she gathers. At the end of the residency, on September 18th, there will be a performance of the four finished songs and a closing reception, when all items will be returned to their owners.
Parallels between the creative process and psychic channeling have been explored by many artists. Cronin’s exploration of psychometry began while staying at a haunted artist residency, Elsewhere Artist Collaborative, in North Carolina, where she wrote songs for the spirits residing in the space. Cronin’s practice emphasizes channeling – rather than authoring – as a deliberate strategy to soften her mark as an individual and draw from a collective history.
Along with her songwriting residency at Monte Vista, Cronin will exhibit a series of portraits of deceased strangers in the gallery, painted from photographs found on internet memorial sites. Each portrait is displayed with its “double” cut from black thrift store dresses, referencing the victorian practice of covering mirrors with black cloth during times of mourning, so that the spirits of the departed won’t get trapped in the glass. One mirror will be displayed alongside the paintings in this way, as part of an “energy installation” to contain energy that collects in the gallery. Four quartz crystals will also be placed in the corners of the gallery, forming a “crystal matrix” that will protect and ritualize the space.