Summercamp’s ProjectProject: Unseen
Opening Sunday, July 24th
Allison Alford & Dai Toyofuku
and Amir H. Fallah in Guestroom
Unseen July 24th—August 7th, 2016
Opening Reception: Sunday July 24th 5—8PM
Summercamp’s ProjectProject presents Unseen. An outdoor group exhibition bringing together artists whose work reveals underlying magic, psychic phenomena, and textural sound as well as dealing with elements that support and balance, issues of injustice, and social practices. Organized by Fatima Hoang, Elonda Norris & Janice Gomez.
Astri Swendsrud and Quinn Gomez-Heitzeberg’s sculptural information kiosk introduces the audience to their history and projected future of utopian thinking and occult practice through the Semi-Tropic Spiritualists, an organization that created a campsite meeting place outside the city limits of Los Angeles in 1905. Through their installations and performance work, this community is being re-created as a model for exploring ideas of faith and skepticism, belief and charlatanism, and utopian social ideals. InGoatspace, Ruby Osorio’s works explore fantasy, which she defines as the state of mind she finds herself in when encountering ambiguity. In this state, there is a thin line between memory and fantasy—fantasy can fix itself in the memory to the point of becoming real. Osorio Walks this line using literature, vintage photographs and botanical reference books as source material to explore the uncanny and enigmatic.
In her practice, Jay Erker creates “potential spaces,” which is a psychological term conceived by the British psychologist D. W. Winnicott to designate a conceptual space or a state of mind based upon a series of dialectical relationships: fantasy/reality, I/other, symbol/symbolized, etc., in which each idea affects and transforms the other in a state of perpetual becoming and destruction. For Unseen, Erker’s audio text of essay, lyrical poetry, sound art, and performance addresses the space and environment specifically, and generally address the experience of the art and people. Carrie Whitney questions the sensory experiences in the world for the “unseen” to compete with by investigating its existence. To experience this requires a curiosity and a willingness to listen. In this work a space is created with familiar objects that stereotypically remind us of what could be worn to conjure the unseen.
Dispersed throughout the hillside below the Summercamp patio, Geneva Skeen’s multi-channel sound work is composed of field recordings from the site and surrounding neighborhood. The sound piece will be fragmented into hyper-specific corners of the hillside. The installation itself seeks to provoke an internal dialogue between the listener and the idea of an individual’s position within a complex, tiered environment, both literally and metaphorically. Jesse Robinson couples ready-made objects with fabricated sculptural forms staging conversations in which the language of sculpture collides with the language of consumerism. Using the conventions of display, he examines how these two different, yet related, formal structures shape desire and the relationships we have with things. While Nicholette Kominos’ constructions are based on simple forms inspired by commonplace or everyday objects, she utilizes the context of familiarity to explore how complex and informative the ordinary can be.
Two ceremonial spaces invoking forgotten ties between humans and plants will be led by Allison Alford and Dai Toyofuku. Other collaborators include a resident fig tree, along with an oak tree, several elderberry and black walnut trees, sages and buckwheat from the Lower Arroyo. This event during Unseen is one of an ongoing series of secret rituals that will be performed throughout the summer and the only ritual made available to the public. Human visitors will have the opportunity to participate in communion, blessing, and healing rites.
Elyse Reardon-Jung’s most current work investigates tropes of art history with an emphasis on the delicately absurd and the politely idiotic. Using the illumination of ill-repute, neon, to represent simplified Odalisque nudes, we can consider the liberal way we consume the female form. Although a well trod path, She is ever curious at the way the female body becomes a repository for hyper loaded cultural signifiers/baggage. Using simple execution and transparent materials, loaded with the weight of constant use. The familiar subject and familiar materials are meant to feel relatable as well as fairly silly. The absurd can be an entry point, a gateway to serious consideration. Audrey Chan’s flag features a series of Sculpey figurines made to resemble the editors of the zine “Would Be Saboteurs Take Heed” carrying heroic personal attributes. By fashioning these figurines, she wants to reconsider and invert the tropes and representational politics of the heroic statue in Western art—as large in scale, predominantly male, nude, idealized, and Western or European in identity. The figurines are diminutive, honor Asian American individualism and diversity, and resist totalizing and stereotypical representations. They propose a new set of heroes for intersectional and biomythographical narratives.
Thinh Nguyen’s current work examines non-binary identity and vulnerability. He reclaims his feminine superego, Long Long, from childhood memories of growing up and wearing dresses. While performing songs he wrote in response to the current sociopolitical climate, Nguyen will be wearing one of the his functional biomorphic sculptures made of reclaimed dresses. Straddling the line between beauty and grotesque, Brian Getnick presents a series of sculptures that brings to mind what once was, could have been, and is now.
And as a compliment to Unseen, Amir H. Fallah will be featured in Guestroom. Fallah’s approach to art making is akin to the process of an archaeological dig. Fallah investigates his subject’s lives through the analysis of their personal belongings, becoming the arbiter of these individuals’ histories, curating found elements into contemporary portraiture. Through this process he does not attempt to beautify or flatter his subjects, but instead focuses on integral points of their lives that subsequently shaped who they were as individuals. In direct opposition to the history of portraiture, he hides the true identity of his subjects by cloaking them in vivid, patterned fabrics found amongst their belongings. The viewer is forced to craft an identity for the subjects through their own interpretation of the curated elements presented. Through the process of art making and the employment of contemporary portraiture, Fallah explores the realms of truth through storytelling. Obsessive consideration of truth’s limitations can help us understand one another, and this examination of identity is the keystone of his practice.