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The Triton Museum of Art,
Santa Clara, California,
Feb - May, 2018.

(The Introduction Placard:)

Line of Sight

Leo Tolstoy said that the purpose of art is to directly transmit an experience from one person to another. "Art is a human activity consisting in this, that one man consciously ... hands on to others feelings he has lived through, and that other people are infected by these feelings and also experience them.

The chief peculiarity of this feeling is that the receiver of a true artistic impression is so united to the artist that he feels as if the work were his own and not someone else’s — as if what it expresses were just what he had long been wishing to express."

In the way a musician’s experience of playing music is remarkably similar to the listener’s experience of that music, we also fly when a dancer leaps. The best works in each of the fine arts infect us in that fashion.

Viewing such a work of art unites the viewer with not only the artist, but with every other viewer of that work as well. This is why art is not just an adjunct to human experience, but a vital necessity of life and society.

Photographic exhibits traditionally revolve around a single subject - landscapes or portraits, for example. To the extent that they succeed, they transmit the photographer’s experience of that particular subject. They are “narrow, but deep.”

“Contiguous - Line of Sight” eschews the single subject in the hope of revealing and transmitting Tolstoy's wider and deeper experience of being. While each image stands on its own, the show has been carefully arranged for a linear viewing, starting with "Complete" (on your left as you enter) and proceeding clockwise. Each of the nine walls presents a "line of sight" through an experience, using abstract or traditional photography, or both.

It is my hope that at least a few of these images will impact you, sharing my experience in creating them and that you will feel as if the work is your own, expressing what you have longed to express.

If so, then the exhibit has succeeded: you have experienced a bit of your own "Line of Sight."

- Tracy Valleau, 2018