For the first time, I incorporated movement, video, and self-representation into my practice, planning a series of eight ritual dance performances over the course of the year. For each performance, whose timing and themes were loosely based on the eight holidays of the pagan calendar, I created clothes (‘Wearings’) and props. Seeking out remote areas in nature (primarily the Mojave desert), I filmed myself conducting the movement-based rituals. Each time, I non-verbally explored questions about my body's relationship to the land, as a woman, a caucasian person (and in some ways a foreigner), and an individual consciousness.
In awe of the desert's energetic force, I wondered if I would be able to use my body as a conduit to translate that energy. I sought resonance between myself, a very small tuning fork, and my host, the vast and aged energy field of the Mojave desert. I wanted to reclaim the masculinist concept of 'landscape' from artists of the 20th and 21st centuries, and from society at large. Dropping ever further into the knowledge that the landscape is not ever separate from me, I felt the insanity of considering land as an object to act upon. The land is my body and vice versa: as within, so without; as without, so within. Though not a new or original idea, I felt the need to express this principle through my particular lens at this moment in time, which calls for widespread healing and deeper understanding.
From the eight video performances, I chose video stills to exhibit in the gallery. Each performance is represented by four images placed one on each side of a square plexiglass box, a display mechanism more akin to a zoetrope than a frame. Along with these images, I created an installation using rope and vinyl. I see the rope sculpture as a continuation of the performances, visualizing the energetic connections and shifts I experienced. The wrapped rope becomes a drawing or painting, or even a timeline. But also, I literally saw these colorful, striated lines weaving through the desert sky (and attempted to make this a reality in Performance 8). To me, the rope is a concrete representation of the energy—connections, vibrations, wavelengths—linking all consciousness.
The silver vinyl mimics the silhouette of the metal lattice surrounding the patio of the gallery. This gesture literally brings the ‘outside in,’ but also intends to bring the viewers’ gaze to the outside, where they might recognize the gorgeous native plants and generous architectural detail of the courtyard. In retrospect, the gallery’s courtyard—its energy and presence—may have been what spurred this entire body of work.
In addition to the images and sculptural installation, I produced two text pieces on black plexiglass that encapsulate the ethos and ecology of the project. The texts read "Language is home" and "Everything is people." They are embossed on black mirror plexiglass to position the viewer in the work, their surroundings, and their literal self-reflection. The text pieces serve to situate the performances within wider philosophical and ethical questions as a way to open collective mental space toward envisioning a radical future.
Visioning—Language is home. Words build worlds. Every word is a vibration. Every word spoken is a spell. Histories erased and erected, vistas emerge and disappear, species named and wiped out, cultures thriving and suppressed, futures projected and dismantled—all from what we speak into being. Reality as we experience it is constructed through the language we choose for its image. Our landscape can be one of abundance or deprivation, depending on how we place ourselves in resonance.
Visioning—Everything is people. Every ‘thing’ has consciousness. Considering the anthropocentric flavor of most human dealings, it might be revolutionary to call everything ‘people.’ Would an animal, rock, patch of land, resource, element, or material be more valued if it was referred to as a person? Can we recognize the personhood of everything (including everyone) in existence and then dismantle the hierarchy that positions humans as the most important organisms on the planet?
Mending—Landscape within is landscape without. My understanding of the natural world is that it is not separate from my body. Nothing is separate, but it seems more outlandish to say that a mountain and my body are the same. And we are. What I do to my body, I do to the land; what I do to the land, I do to my body. This installation materializes an abstract ideation of unseen forces constantly at work in our surroundings. Hands mend auras. Ropes become connective tissues. Black shapes are mirror-portals.
Moving—Knowledge is eternal within the body. Speaking of the body as land, human, animal, mineral, material forms. I seek resonance with the landscape. I prepare and perform eight rituals over the course of the year. Each time, a distinct vibration is achieved. Moving in the vastness, I attune myself to the energy—I lay my personalized energy to rest, asking the land to absorb and transmute. If I am empty enough, I can hold the frequency of the place. The success of these exercises varies widely. Still, the knowledge is in my DNA, the land is in my body, and I need only hold the desert in my mind’s eye to become its spaciousness.
from the outsidein
guest curated by Sam Hopple
(Los Angeles, CA) Los Angeles Valley College is pleased to announce from the outsidein, featuring the work of Hunter Buck, Allison Peck, and Katie Shapiro and organized by guest curator Sam Hopple.
Exhibitionruns Feb. 13 - Mar. 14, 2019
Reception for the artists: Wednesday Feb. 13, 6-8p
5800 Fulton Avenue, Valley Glen, CA 91401
“I think of landscape as a material site but also as a nexus of images that accumulate around the site itself.” -Zarhouie Abdalian (Mousse Magazine; issue 27).
Using the gallery space as a laboratory for exploring ideas of place, memory, and the capturing of moments in time, this exhibition focuses on contemporary work related to landscape from artists using site-responsive methods and non-traditional materials. A photograph, a transfer, a ritualized act; by placing these "visual recordings" of the natural world into the ‘white cube’ environment, they are acting as a catalyst for experimentation. Can the viewer feel and experience place, or does the work simply remain a souvenir of the geographical?
Hunter Buck’s large-sale rubbings from his Shadow Sitesseries replicate the texture of the rocky coast of Hawaii and the landscape of Ithaca, NY. These works are laborious to create, and the physical gesture of the mark making fully engages the body. Using graphite, charcoal, and acrylic paint, Buck’s compositions spark a curiosity in the human connection to the land. His repetitive motions and the resulting transfer act as a tool to record not only the land, but the artist in space and time.
Over the course of the year, Allison Peck has begun to incorporate movement into her practice. Based upon her own understanding of and resonance with landscape, Peck has made eight performances at various natural sites around the Los Angeles basin. Stills from these sessions of ritual movement, as well as two text pieces and several related sculptural works, will be on view in the gallery. The text pieces reflect the ethos and ecology of Peck’s work. The sculptural elements are a continuation and materialization of the rituals, visualizing the energetic connections that occurred with her body moving through space.
Katie Shapiro’s photographic sculptures source imagery from craters, the earth’s scars made by the impact of destructive cosmic happenings. Stemming from a body of work shot in Utah’s High Desert, Shapiro is redefining the function of the photograph through experimental practice. Having recently completed a residency at Bullseye Glass in Los Angeles, she uses a screen printing process to transfer her images onto kiln fired glass. The repetition of this process results in the build of a densely layered image. These sculptures speak to Shapiro’s interest in the vortex, the invisible sources of energy in the universe, and how craters expose the vulnerabilities of trauma on the earth’s surface.
About the artists:
Hunter Buck (b. 1987 in Bozeman, MT) is currently living and working out of Ithaca, New York. He received an MFA from Pacific Northwest College of Art in 2017 and a BFA from California College of the Arts in 2012. Hunter is a mixed media artist working with printmaking, painting, drawing, photography and sculpture. Recent works focus on environmental interaction and awareness. His works have been shown at Zolla/Lieberman Gallery (Chicago, IL), Anglim/Gilbert (San Francisco, CA), Meinblau Projektraum (Berlin, DE), and Verksmiðjan à Hjalteyri (Hjalteyri, ÍS).
Allison Peck(b. 1985 in Sacramento, CA) is an artist living and working in Los Angeles, CA. She received an MFA from Otis College of Art and Design and a BA from Occidental College. Her most recent exhibition was Adjacent Vibrations, a two-person show presented at AMAX Gallery. Her work has also been shown at the Portland ‘Pataphysical Society (Portland, OR), La Chapelle de Notre Dame (Auzon, FR), Elephant Art Space (Los Angeles, CA), ReDiscover Center (Los Angeles, CA), and the Institute of Jamais Vu (London, UK).
Katie Shapiro (b. 1983in Los Angeles, CA) received an MFA from the University of California, Irvine in 2015 and a BFA in Photography from CalArts in 2007. Her work has been exhibited internationally, most recently at Kopeikin Gallery, Los Angeles, LTD Gallery, Los Angeles, Ms. Barbers, Los Angeles and Aperture Gallery, New York. Her work has received coverage in Artforum, the Los Angeles Times, and New York Magazine and is housed in private collections as well as in the permanent collection at the Huntington Library Art Collections and Botanical Gardens. Shapiro lives and works in Los Angeles, CA.
About the curator:
Sam Hopple is an independent curator and arts writer currently based in Portland, Oregon. Hopple received her B.A. in Art, Design and Media from Richmond University in London in 2012. She is interested in contemporary visual culture and investigating the relationship between space and object.
About the gallery:
Los Angeles Valley College Art Galleryserves as a resource for students and the greater community of the San Fernando Valley. Presenting ambitious visual arts exhibitions, lectures and collaborative partnerships, we provide a dynamic platform for dialogue, inquiry, and discovery.
Portland 'Pataphysical Society (PataPDX) is pleased to announce INTER/MISSION, a two person exhibition with installation work from Los Angeles-based artist Allison Peck, and videos from Washington D.C.-based artist Rives Wiley. This exhibition was curated by S/PLI/T, a Portland-based curatorial group co-directed by Sam Hopple and Taryn Wiens.
Exhbition Dates: October 6–November 3, 2016 Gallery Hours: Saturdays, 12–4pm and by appointment
A closing reception will take place November 3rd from 6-9pm
ABOUT THE EXHIBITION:
Rives Wiley (riveswiley.com) makes videos of figures positioned in elaborate built environments that blend the real, surreal,and virtual. Their behaviors walk an uncomfortable line between restraint and repetitive action that recalls the pull and push of social conventions on ourselves.
Allison Peck (allisonpeck.com) intervenes in individual sites, adeptly using languages of material, shape, and color to break down any pretense of a gallery as place-less, as a way to explore notions of space and our positions within it. For this exhibition she will install site-specific work in conversation with the space, the curators, and fellow artist Wiley.
Both Wiley and Peck work with ideas of environment: Wiley creates fictive environments to mirror the influence of our own social and virtual settings, while Peck forces us to confront the immediate environment of the gallery space. Each artist points to our agency, or lack thereof, in the ever- present context of our surroundings.
S/PLI/T produces two-person exhibitions in established and alternative art venues and vacant spaces. By introducing emerging artists with conceptual depth and contemporary concerns to new viewers, S/PLI/T encourages artistic practice at a critical stage while inviting the community to connect around fresh and vital work. S/PLI/T encourages accessibility and cross-disciplinary engagement through interpretive materials, interviews, public events, and a published catalog.
The name S/PLI/T describes a duality that is present in the two-person exhibitions and implies two pieces of a whole. We are interested in the dialogue that can take place in the space(split) between different art practices.
S/PLI/T is co-directed by Sam Hopple and Taryn Wiens and is based in Portland, Oregon.
Rumi enters each place of worship – a temple, a church, a mosque – and sees one altar.
I think about the chapel; I visit this place quantumly.
I feel sunlight slanting through windows. An old quiet. Particles dancing down light beams.
I sense its intimacy, its peace. The dream of everyone carrying it with them.
Of being empty enough for the space to fill us up. Of finding magic again.
Of being vulnerable and open where love can find us.
Of making a bendable, flexible, radical future, when movement and bodies and thought and loving will be without boundary or limitation.
A future that embraces all sentient beings.
Turning towards transformation as the only practice of hope.
Language is home and we build worlds with it.
Testament Installations by Shiva Aliabadi and Allison Peck
Opening December 12, 7-10pm
This exhibition is rooted in the action of observing and responding. We think of Elephant not as an empty space to be filled, but as a place imbued with the energy of its resident artists and of all those that congregate each month to take in curious objects.
Colors, patterns, gestures, and forms are taken up, turned over, and reflected in Aliabadi and Peck’s sculptures and ephemera that briefly inhabit the space. There will be many places to start and no points of origin. As they create from within and among the frames of the gallery, the lived space, the neighborhood—bringing the outside in and putting the inside out—Aliabadi and Peck also build on each other’s practices, maintaining fluidity and flexibility as one acts and reacts to the moves of the other. A kind partnership. A progressing interaction.
Aliabadi and Peck’s work reflect a site-responsive, back and forth process where gestures reflect, influence, and generate each other. The artists use each other’s practices as frames for their respective installations. Both separate and together, their works reveal precarious testaments to the gallery space.
Please join us for the opening reception of Intimate Irregularity, an exhibition by Allison Peck in partnership with the ReDiscover Center.
Reception: Saturday, November 8 from 6-8p
On view: 9/15/14 – 1/1/15, Saturdays 11-4p
Location: ReDiscover Center, 12958 W Washington Blvd, Los Angeles, CA
Intimate Irregularity addresses the site as a whole. When the artist first encountered the ReDiscover Center, she was drawn to its physical idiosyncrasies and imperfections. She was also drawn to the mission of the center, which resonated deeply in terms of repurposing materials to create something new—a practice that informs much of her work as an artist.
This exhibition uses both new and repurposed materials to reveal and honor the center’s ‘flaws.’ Using plastic, vinyl, and house paint, the artist recreates gestures found in the art center, such as meandering lines from water damage, re-imagines gestures from its surrounding environs, such as the paint roller marks of covered graffiti, and uses them to embellish the walls and windows of the center’s main room. She also chose to engage with a practice she calls ‘institutional improvement’—cleaning, patching, and painting as she moves through the space.
Not unlike the Japanese traditions of wabi-sabi and kintsugi, these types of actions call attention to aspects of imperfection, impermanence, and unfinishedness within the art center and seek to lend visibility and positivity to these qualities.
2014 Tied Tides and Small Shifts
To give you back this wave
I would have to give back
the black spaces
fretted with film of spray,
darker and deeper than the mind
they are emblems of
Not only the creator fury
of the whitest churn
the caldron of all life
but the blankness underlying
Thinking of the sea I think of light
lacing, lancing the water
the blue knife of a radiant consciousness
bent by the waves of vision as it pierces
to the deepest grotto
And I think of those lives we tried to live
in our globed helmets, self-enclosed
bodies self-illuminated gliding
safe from the turbulence
and how, miraculously, we failed
Adrienne Rich, 1973
Tied 1, plastic and metal, 10.5 x 7.5", 2014
Wall Gesture, grey house paint, dimensions variable, 2014
Tied 1, plastic and metal, 10.5 x 7.5", 2014
Tide (emblem), plastic and paint, dimensions variable (approx. 4 x 18'), 2014
Tide (emblem) detail
Installation view [Tide (emblem), Tieds 2-7, and Radiant(pedestal)]