Categories
Art Performance and Conceptual

Spread, Part I – Sharon Grace + Carissa Potter

Although both artists utilize different mediums, the commonality is their perspective on human interaction and behavior.

Sharon Grace, Balls to the Wall, Single channel with sound, 2008

Spread is currently showing at the SOMArts Cultural Center. The posts to follow are first impressions and reflections about each pair of artists in the exhibition.

*          *          *          *

An artist’s work is almost always derived from a mentor’s guidance or influence. An integral part of the professor’s role is to push the student to their limits; to test the student’s mental agility, intellectual stamina, and help nascent ideas bud into something greater than the student ever imagined. In the exhibition, Spread: California Conceptualism – Then & Now, the viewer sees five pairings – a vanguard artist and their student. Such an exhibition reminds the audience that each artist carries on the legacy of their teacher (even if their path is divergent).

While Sharon Grace’s single channel video of marbles bouncing off a hardwood floor while an individual in high heels walks ever so slowly across a wood floor; Carissa Potter’s work, I’m Attracted to You, is on the other side of the wall. Although both artists utilize different mediums, the commonality is their perspective on human interaction and behavior. Relationships between people and things is prevalent in their works. Even with Grace’s time based media, you interact with it the way you want, which is not too dissimilar to Potter’s work. There doesn’t seem to be an obligation to dig deep to find a particular meaning. You’re given a concept or idea of something (an experience) and you take it for what it is in a moment.

The key difference is the use of language as a device. Words are much more rampant in Potter’s work. Much of the complex ideas riddled within our minds are laid in a combination of text and images. Grace’s work, on the other hand, in particular, for the show, barely includes any text until you look at the deconstructed drawing of the box that holds a heap of marbles. In researching Grace’s work, language is verbally expressed versus written. Either way, the pairing, at first, may seem a bit enigmatic  but if you watch and read, keep in mind your behavior and responses to the works.

Carissa Potter, I

By Dorothy R. Santos

Dorothy R. Santos (b. 1978) is a Filipina American writer, artist, and educator whose academic and research interests include feminist media histories, critical medical anthropology, race and technology. Born and raised in San Francisco, California, she holds Bachelor’s degrees in Philosophy and Psychology from the University of San Francisco and received her Master’s degree in Visual and Critical Studies at the California College of the Arts. She is a Ph.D. student in Film and Digital Media at the University of California, Santa Cruz as a Eugene V. Cota-Robles fellow. Her work as been exhibited at Ars Electronica, Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, and the GLBT Historical Society.

Her writing appears in art21, Rhizome, Hyperallergic, Ars Technica, Vice Motherboard, and SF MOMA’s Open Space. Her essay “Materiality to Machines: Manufacturing the Organic and Hypotheses for Future Imaginings,” was published in The Routledge Companion to Biology in Art and Architecture. She is a co-founder of REFRESH, a politically-engaged art and curatorial collective and serves as the program manager for the Processing Foundation.

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