drawn on the surface of the glass. Within the drawn "lens", each participant handwrote his/her response to the question: "If you were to look through a telescope, through a microscope, within yourself, or into the future, what would you seek"?
The title The Starry Messengers was borrowed from Galileo's 1610 publication containing his early telescopic observations of Jupiter and its orbiting moons.
- Jo Ann Fleischhauer 2012
Gagliato, Calabria, Italy
The Starry Messengers is a series of twenty works on paper, which were installed in a 17th C Italian family cantina once used to make olive oil and wine.
In April 2012, I photographed the eyes of twenty residents from Gagliato, Italy, a small town in the southern province of Calabria. Unexpectedly captured on each iris was the reflection of a nearby window, Gagliato's landscape, and the Ionian Sea. Seeing the window in each of the participants' eyes led me to use details from paintings of the 17th C Dutch artist Johannes Vermeer. The quality of light, the repeated use of the window, and the contemplative gaze of his subjects influenced me to incorporate fragments of his work.
Also incorporated into the works on paper were pencil drawings of pentagons made with a compass and ruler. The hand drawn schematics are a testament to the human hand in a dominantly digitized world. Twelve identical pentagonal faces, when put together, make a dodecahedron, which Plato considered "the fifth construction, which God used for embroidering the constellations on the whole heaven.'
The photographs were hung on the surface of the walls, while the glass was suspended 6-8" away from each photograph. A circular "lens" was