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Auto/Biography/Charts speaks to New Orleans artist Jan Gilbert’s longstanding interest in artist books, photography, dreams and collage techniques. Large format pages of an automobile’s instruction manual are transformed into slates for memory and record. Eleven charts, gathered to form a chapter drawn from a group of 80 pages, portray an emotional young protagonist named Diana in a sequence that explores loss. Imagery includes Diana’s contemplation of a lifeless animal at the Luling Mansion, where Gilbert lived, as well as cemetery flowers and shadows. The texts presented are open for interpretation to the viewer in a surreal narrative of a car accident that is imbued with warmth and sensitivity.
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