Jottings, sketches, marginalia, improvisations, etudes – this is the stuff of process. As artists, thinkers and around-the-house tinkerers, we typically exercise our materials, concepts and embodiments as a means to an end. We are on our way somewhere. We are pushing ourselves and our tools. In search of an as-of-yet undefined, unrealized destination.
In this exhibition curated by Richard Haley, artists work with a purpose to capture the materiality of process as an end unto itself. Trying out different frames, relationships and rhythms of production and reception, the pieces in the show transfigure viewers’ expectations by creating an alternative reality in which the richest encounters are only to be found in rehearsal. Allana Clarke invites the spectator into an intimate encounter with hair, skin and flesh, brought so close by the camera’s lens that there is a perception of shared breath in time. The simplicity and singularity of Clarke’s physicality opens up what Irigaray refers to as a “vital subjective space” which transforms our perception of “the real that we are, that we live.” Kenneth Tam brings his body into conversation with the body of his own father in a series of theoretically madcap physical scenarios with quotidian materials. But, even if laughter is occasionally elicited, the comedic quality of Tam’s scenes is not designed to release tension, but instead further knits and complicates tension over time by anchoring the ludic with an indescribable gravitas. Robin Hill animates object studies by presenting materials whose immediate histories and actions have been preserved in the trace of their residue. For Hill, in staging these material dialogues, the patina is not to be left behind, but embraced as an additional partner in a conversational triptych: we are what we are; we are what we’ve done; we are where we’ve been. Sandra Ono surfaces materials with previous lives – pink towels, sand, sticks – and organizes them into patterns and flows that insist on the objects’ autonomy. In a paradoxical space absent of sentimentality, Ono’s sculptures invite an affection and attachment that can only be likened to the way one might feel towards a ragged, beloved childhood toy. In physical and video spaces, Virginia L. Montgomery choreographs idiosyncratic landscapes for experimentation and observation. Body uses tool uses surface. Body becomes surface. Tool becomes body. In a durational performance that plays with viewers’ powers of discernment, Aki Sasamoto creates a whimsical picture over time, which is underscored and driven by a sonic landscape of call-and-response. Sasamoto renders an experience that has a language unto itself, releasing the viewer from any obligation to seek resolution and, instead, give in to the sensibility of the world she has created. Shiva Ahmadi creates animations out of thousands of individual water color paintings. The flowing amorphous visual language of watercolor creates an unstable environment where inert forms are in constant motion. Ahmadi pulls the viewer into a flickering world that is always in a state of becoming but never arriving.
FEATURING THE WORK OF:
Virginia L. Montgomery
IMAGE: Virginia L. Montgomery, Still from CUT COPY SPHINX from 2018, 4k Digital video, 3'30"
Free to the public.
625 S Street, Sacramento, CA 95811