(Untitled) Syncope

Pat Boas and Simon Boas
For it always happened that when I awoke like this, and my mind struggled in an unsuccessful attempt to discover where I was, everything revolved around me through the darkness: things, places, years.”

-- MP, Swann’s Way


A short while ago, during a medical test meant to induce syncope (a medical term for fainting), I did just that: floating for some moments in an unnamable state, a time during which none of the senses seemed to operate. Someone calling my name brought me back, but not fully. I opened my eyes and could make no sense of what was before me. I could not even form the question, “where am I?” but rather asked myself, “what is this?” I closed my eyes again. How does language locate us? Trigger, malaise, prodrome, syncope: words with beautiful sounds for stages in the process of dropping in and out of consciousness.

Pat Boas is an artist based in Portland, Oregon. Her work explores the play between words and images, the nature of codes and the stories hidden in familiar grammatical structures. She has exhibited at the Portland Art Museum, the Art Gym, PDX Contemporary and Elizabeth Leach Gallery in Portland, Oregon, the Boise Art Museum; the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Salt Lake Art Center, the Nicolaysen Museum in Casper, Wyoming and the Center on Contemporary Art in Seattle. She is the recipient of the 2012 Bonnie Bronson Fellowship, as well as fellowships from the Pollack-Krasner Foundation and the Ford Family Foundation. Reviews of Boas’ work have appeared in Art in America and Art Papers.

Simon Boas received his BA in Journalism/Digital Media from the University of Oregon in 2010. He has written and produced multimedia projects for Oregon Public Broadcasting, the Everett Daily Herald, KEZI.com, The Santiago Times and FLUX Magazine.