Noritaka Minami, A706 (Wall I), 2011; archival pigment print mounted on aluminum; 30 x 38 in. Courtesy of the Artist and the Kearny Street Workshop, San Francisco.

Humans are resilient. Our anatomy is extraordinary and highly complex. We build, construct, destroy, and synthesize. But human nature involves understanding the biology and mechanisms that provoke us to move and accelerate. In Movement in Many Parts, an exhibition curated by Lucy Seena K. Lin and Weston Teruya, artists investigate human evolution through nature and industry. Their ruminations are shown through organic forms, moving image, photography, drawing, and painting. Each work reminds us of the adage that the totality of many things in concert is far greater than one single part of the whole.

In A1007 (Wall II) (2011), Noritaka Minami asks us to peer into the modular housing built within the Japanese urban landscape. At the start of the series, a viewer is let into a small room with a single, large round window that looks out onto the city and other pods. There is no returning gaze; a viewer sees only the disheveled room of a seemingly busy city dweller. The room could very well be a viewer’s; the window is the only way to see outside and to observe other living things. Stagnancy is apparent through the dull colors of bed sheets and the aging, disintegrating papers on the wall. Even the dated typography of the numbers on the clock suggests a thick layer of dust has settled over things untouched. The scene gives the sense that the busyness of city life has depleted the weary soul that inhabits this space. Minami’sTower (Facade 1) (2011) includes a segment of the exterior architecture that gives a viewer not only a sense of scale but also of how nature has weathered the building’s exterior. The erosion suggests that the original design is obsolete in this fast-paced environment.

While Minami’s photographs depict an environment, Kim Anno’s photographs ponder the effects of climate change and demonstrate how humans may adapt to and work with rising sea levels. Men and Women in Water Cities (2011) shows individuals fully clothed in suits and corporate attire turning their bodies toward a viewer, as though caught in mid-action. The picture plane presents something absurd. Yet, is it as absurd as we think? Anno proposes peculiar but perhaps ingenious ways we might survive despite nature’s disposition, showing what humans may be driven to do when it is necessary to endure. It is this human tendency toward movement that forces resiliency.

Originally posted to Shotgun Reviews on Art Practical, please click here to view.

Farhad Bahram. Reciprocality (2012); color photograph; 4 x 12 in. Courtesy of the Artist.

It has been too long since my last Shotgun Review for Art Practical! I wrote about In the Current show, which showcases some phenomenal Iranian artists! Below, you will find my write-up. Please enjoy and I highly recommend stopping by the exhibit. Enjoy!

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In the Currents, an exhibition of Iranian-American artists curated by Taraneh Hemami and Lucy Kalyani Lin, complicates and makes personal the ways in which Iran and Iranian culture are portrayed in much of Western media.

In Azin Seraj’s video installation, kaseye sabr labriz mishavad (bowl of patience, 2012), four Iranians speak about how their lives have been affected by the United Nations sanctions against Iran. Seraj layers the footage of the speakers with that of droplets of water filling a bowl, creating contorted and muddled images of the speakers, though their voices are clearly heard. Curiously, the visual rippling effect forces a viewer to concentrate on the intonation of words—even though only Farsi-speaking viewers are likely to understand them.

Farhad Bahram’s piece, Reciprocal Subject (2012), also complicates the view of its subjects. Like Seraj, Bahram empowers the subjects and makes them anonymous, but  they share in the creation of the work. Bahram and each subject simultaneously took pictures of each other in open public spaces, and Bahram arranged the resulting color photos on a board in an apparent order or system that mimics a scrapbook, with names appearing beside each photo. Each of the faces is partially obscured by a camera, frustrating any viewer’s desire to identify the subjects. The public spaces that serve as backdrops add an additional level of neutrality and anonymity. Still, there is a complicity that only exists between Bahram and each subject, leaving viewers curious about their relationship.

Another notable piece, Flag (2012), from Sanaz Mazinani’s series “Conference of the Birds,” uses photographic images to create a patterned flag reflective not of a particular region but of a specific idea. Her flag is rooted in solidarity as opposed to being grounded in a specific physical location. The repeated images coalesce to form a tightly knit pattern that creates a visual mesh of people, places, and cultures. Mazinani’s work, along with that of Seraj and Barham, blurs the expected lines of perception and demands that viewers participate in the act of seeing not only their works but also their culture.

IN THE CURRENTS IS ON VIEW AT THE ASIAN RESOURCE CENTER GALLERY, IN OAKLAND, THROUGH JUNE 15, 2012.

Original posted to Shotgun Reviews on Art Practical, please click here to view.

Ever After, an exhibition curated by curatorial collective, OFFSpace, is one of the most memorable art openings I’ve experienced (ever). The show resides in what most individuals would consider a rather unorthodox and unusual place for an art exhibition – a columbarium. Yes, you read that correctly. This show is in a columbarium. Currently in the process of revising and editing pieces for publication and rest assured (no pun intended), my review of Ever After is in the works. For now, please view some of the photos from the opening.

Visitors looking at Andrew Witrak's piece, Dixie Cup Phone (2011), Paper, silk thread, gouache paint, dimensions variable
Exploring Julia Morgan's architecture work while searching for the artwork spread throughout the columbarium
Walking around and getting lost
In Blessed (name of the room), searching for Marya Krogstad and Emmanuelle Namont Kouznetsov's work. Found Krogstad but learned Kouznetsov's work had to be moved.
Elyse Hochstadt's work, Untitled (Reliquary) (2011), Ash, 36" x 12" x 4"
Chimes Chapel entrance

Artists, Emmanuelle Namont Kouznetsov and Elyse Hochstadt certainly caught my attention when I read their request for participation in their latest work.

They are developing work around the current political climate. One piece is addressing the ever-changing status of women in culture and how the extreme right/religious right/Tea Party is changing not only legislation but undermining the overall perception of the role of women in society.

They are reaching out to friends and family and asking us to dig through our closets for those unused “work” pants.

Specifically, the artists are looking for the following:

  • Black, Grey, Dark Blue or Pin Stripe pants
  • Pants considered as proper office attire for a professional woman

Size doesn’t matter, but time does!! Please go check your closets and contact the artists with additional questions. The artists are also willing to arrange for a pick-up, if necessary.

Please contact Emmanuelle Namont Kouznetsov (Location: San Francisco) via e-mail at elle@emmanuellenamont.com

OR

Elyse Hochstadt (Location: East Bay) via e-mail at elyseh1@gmail.com

Donors will be acknowledged as a participants. The artists will keep everyone informed of the developments of the piece as well as where it will be exhibited. More to come…

Source: Original Artists’ Call for Participation