Baltimore artists Daniel Wickerham and Malcolm Lomax (known professionally by their surnames) are anything but inflexible. In interviews about their various installations and projects, the pair are often quoted as saying something to the effect of “We were going to do it this way, but then we saw that we needed to do it this way.”
It’s fitting, then, that their latest project is designed to be malleable. Channel Heal: The Writers Room is an ever-evolving exhibition and the final installment of the Reginald F. Lewis Museum’s “Reflections” series. Though Wickerham said the pair was initially approached by curator Joe Giordano to re-show their DUOX4Odell’s: You’ll Know If You Belong installation, they wanted to create something new. As goes the story, their first plan–to show people in interior spaces, echoing the main exhibition around which the series was based–quickly evolved. Instead, they turned to one interior: the titular writer’s room. The exhibition is filled with mindscapes and whiteboards, “showrunner portraits” of the artists and visions of “where ideas go to rest.” The art is bright and busy and dense and provocative, a visual feast for the eyes that was created not only to engage, but to spark.
This hub of creation, a physical manifestation of the inner workings of the mind, also serves as the perfect metaphor for the exhibition’s programming component. During the course of their exhibition, two public forums will be held, each focusing on two of what Wickerham calls “the quadrants of the self.” The first, held on July 18, will cover mysticality and physicality; the second, occurring August 1, will explore egotism and transcendence.
The forums are about as open-ended as it gets. Wickerham and Lomax had initially considered speakers, but felt that had too much of a “talking at” component, and have instead invited some creative minds they know, with the hope that others they’ve yet to meet will come. The exhibition is, in fact, meant to reflect the spirit of creatives in the city and explore their modes of healing–with, Wickerham says, the aim to harness those modes of healing to be leveraged on a greater scale in the city.
The duo intends to build on the physical exhibition using contributions from the program’s attendees–post-its, words, questionnaires, etc. Eventually, the entirety of the exhibition and what it has borne will be transformed into the Channel Heal video–but what that looks like? Well, Wickerham says, they’ll just have to see.
The Writer’s Room will be on display June 12 – Aug. 1 at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum.