HATHAWAY is proud to present Twilight Living, a solo exhibition of new photographic and installation works by Sarah Hobbs. This solo exhibition will be Hobb’s first with HATHAWAY, and her first in an Atlanta gallery since 2009, after completing a number of significant site-specific installations in museums and project spaces over the past decade. During that time, Hobbs was also awarded an Idea Capital Grant, a Walker Evans Focus Fellowship, the Dave Bown Projects Photography Competition Grand Prize, an Artadia Grant, the Photolucida Critical Mass Top 50 award, and named a Hudgens Prize finalist.
Hobbs holds a MFA in Photography from the University of Georgia, Athens. She lives and works in Atlanta. Her work is included in the permanent collections of the Art Institute of Chicago, the Brooklyn Museum of Art, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, and the Sir Elton John Collection, among others. Hobbs’ work was featured in a solo exhibition at the Knoxville Museum of Art as well as Silver Eye Center for Photography in Pittsburgh, PA. Her work has been included in several group shows across the country. Her first monograph, Small Problems in Living, was published in 2012.
The term twilight used to seem mysterious to me, in a poetic and romantic sort of way. But the more my mind dwells on the idea of it, the more unsettling and confusing it has become. The word sounds lovely, as if it doesn’t belong to its true meaning, which is a period of ambiguity or gradual decline. Twilight is the space between the known and unknown. I am interested in the various ways we attempt to cope in this space. There are those who are fine to live in twilight - choosing to be removed or feeling comfortable with not having to make choices or changes. But, there are also those who cannot abide it. How one might attempt to deal with the ambiguity is the essence of this work.
Twilight Living is an exercise in topoanalysis – the psychological study of the sites of our intimate lives. What do we do in our private spaces to assuage our anxiety in the ambiguous times in which we live? There is a weighing down on all of us these days, on our society, and so much of the anxiety of our time is social (and much of that spurred on by politics). Sometimes we dance around topics, trying to feel out another’s philosophies. “Am I going to find myself aligned with this person or opposed?” Turning inward can be a detriment, but we are all so wary of our fellow man, of conversing freely, that it feels like a comfort now to metaphorically hibernate.
The idea of turning away from reality and doing something rash or impetuous, simply as a release or as a way of feeling one has control over something, some act of creation or destruction, acts as a nepenthe.
In addition to impromptu behavior, the act of collecting is a careful, methodical practice seen in this work. Collecting is also a type of soothing. But constantly, obsessively looking for (or making) items (of no actual value) to save is not really experiencing life. Collecting feels like an accomplishment, but it isn’t really. “It is more than an impulse… it is a defensive move, initially with the aim of turning disillusionment and helplessness into an animated purposeful venture…it is a device to tolerate frustration… “(Muensterberger, Collecting: An Unruly Passion)
This idea of salvaging the self and the life one knew is an avoidance of society today and all that entails. We are in a truly ambiguous period at present, but in holding on to a past that was comfortable, one cannot move forward in life. One cannot make progress. One is stuck in twilight.