Eavesdropping - BRIC Arts Media, March 2016
Interested in exploring the notions of insider, outsider and the other, artist Adrienne Elise Tarver created an installation that exploited our curiosity of what’s within barriers and questioned what is gained (and at the same time lost) once we’ve looked inside. She did this with both large scale video projections, light box installations, photographs, and hand-drawn wallpaper, exploring the life of a woman from an old photograph she found in a thrift store. Young, black, and female, wearing glasses and facing the camera, Tarver was enticed by this woman's anonymity, and built a story about her, starting with her home and finding the narrative as the pieces came together. Curated by Jenny Gerow, Assistant Curator; BRIC website
Eavesdropping photo series - 2015-16, digital photographs of built miniature
"In her work, Tarver builds upon this connection between objects, history, and desire in order to investigate issues of transgression and voyeurism. In her multi-media installation, Eavesdropping, Tarver constructs and presents a host of numinous objects, making concrete the abstract concepts of knowledge and desire.
Tarver’s foundational numinous object was found at a thrift store. Amid the second-hand items, her artist’s eye focused on a photograph. In the image, a young, black woman wearing glasses sits on a chair and stares directly back at the camera. The numinous connection between the sitter and her life had been severed, the memories lost. Her name and history is unknown. Instead, the photograph had become just another object in the thrift store. That photo with its simple composition nonetheless held a particular attraction for the artist. She desired its history. To Tarver, the way in which the woman was sitting, her clothing, and her direct, confident gaze out of the image struck her immediately. This yellowing photograph with its curved edges and mysterious sitter would become the touchstone for the work Eavesdropping."
- Lisa Volpe, Associate Curator of Photography at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston writing for Peripheral Vision Arts.