It is a door and window that make a room useful
August 7 - 30th 2014
SOIL Gallery, Seattle, WA
Artist co-curated with Tia Kramer
Featuring artists Barbara Smith, Christalena Hughmanick, Jovencio de la Paz, Tia Kramer, and Venetia Dale.
Taking its title from the 11th verse of the Tao Te Ching, It is a door and window that make a room useful is an exhibition highlighting five emerging artists who utilize craft language, technology, and time to examine the ethereal space between profundity and the everyday. Featured artists Barbara Smith (New York City), Christalena Hughmanick (Chicago), Jovencio de la Paz (Chicago), Tia Kramer (Seattle), and Venetia Dale (Boston) will share video, sculpture, and performance that reframe mundane acts as sacred experience.
Collectively these artists embody craft practices of repetition, labor, attention and process, bringing awareness to our physical human experience and presence, and inviting the possibility for transformative reflection. Just as the 11th verse of the Tao Te Ching attempts to make accessible the concept of emptiness, this exhibition, It is a door and window that makes a room useful, aims to provide a glimpse into the profundity of the mundane, emphasizing the ephemerality of experience.
Thirty spokes share the wheel's hub;
It is the center hole that makes it useful.
Shape clay into a vessel;
It is the space within that makes it useful.
Cut doors and windows for a room;
It is the holes which make it useful.
Therefore benefit comes from what is there;
Usefulness from what is not there.
- Lao Tzu
Opening reception + performance: Variation on Support, no. 4 – 8 by Christalena Hughmanick. Thursday, August 7th 5-8 pm
Off-site performance at Discovery Park: Five Restricted Structures by Tia Kramer. Saturday, August 23rd 4-6pm
Read review in the Stranger slog by Jen Graves
Exhibition in Motion: Objects Performed
Co-curated with Stefano Catalani and Tia Kramer - Bellevue Arts Museum, Bellevue, WA 2011
This performative exhibition is a collaboration with the following 24 visual artists and 10 professional Seattle based dancers. This performance provides a stage for craft artists and performers to explore how objects are made to function, and the imagination and improvisation activated in one’s pursuit to use.
This performance is an experiment. These objects are a proposal.
The Exhibition in Motion is both site and action. Craft and craft. Performance and event. The intent is not to perform the process of crafting but rather to perform the resulting objects of craft. It is a proposal for alternative modes of display and interaction. How does an object’s meaning shift when craft objects are reframed?
Performers participate in a call and response among object, body, space, sound, and audience. Objects are placed in a state of flux. Animated, the objects are seen. Instigated, the objects incite explicit looking. The exhibition is a forum in motion. It prompts an interrogation of our assumptions about craft objects. Each gesture, each look, re-codifies the work. Touched. Worn. Enacted. A moment in the making.
This performance is a collaboration. These objects are a proposition.
By allowing the objects to exist in flux, by embracing provisionality, the collaboration between object, performer, and viewer enables us to readdress the syntax of craft. As the performers explore and read the objects, they utilize a tacit understanding of the function of everyday objects. Soap bubbles. Curling ribbon. Ball chain. There is potential in every interaction and every touch. Each object contains latent functionalities that generate new behaviors. Chair. Ring. Mask. The performers ask the objects what is possible.
The Exhibition in Motion places objects in a liminal state. Suspended, we identify, assemble, and reassemble craft. By placing objects in this situation, by making the audience an accomplice, the Exhibition in Motion proposes that craft is speculative. It moves to effect.
This performance is an experience. These objects are an instruction.
What is jewelry if not an invitation to wear, a prompt for a gesture and a demand for an audience? What is an object if not an invitation to touch, a functional cue and a demand for interaction? We make, we use. When wearing jewelry or interacting with an object, we are all performers. These are the props of daily life.
As the gestures and objects are visually consumed and considered, this event is read like a text, with the objects as the score. Objects with the body have a unique language that vacillates between fashion, adornment, and everyday function. These objects can be read as an explanation; gestures become the conversation. To study and experience the visual rhetoric of craft, we must consider the entire composition of the event. Wear, use, look, move, touch: Repeat.
This performance is a question. What can craft do?
Objects performed was included in the recent publication Shows and Tales-On Jewelry Exhibition Making. Check it out here!
Artist co-curated with Sarah Troper
Galerie Noel Guyomarc’h Montreal, Quebec
October 20th- November 20th, 2011
OPENING RECEPTION: THURSDAY OCTOBER 20TH 6-9PM
Relatives examines the myriad ways contemporary craft artists negotiate jewelry as format, idea, process, material, and form. The exhibiting artists have all pursued formal jewelry/metalsmithing training and now maintain art practices that exist on the periphery of techniques, processes, and conversations practiced and applied within this craft. Collectively, the artworks represent the expansive inquiries, paths and outcomes, inviting a provocative dialogue between intersections of jewelry/object, object/sculpture, sculpture/installation, installation/jewelry.