From John Wayne to Jeff Bridges, from escapism to jingoism, from open skies to internment camps, the American West is a buoyant metaphor for whatever American mythos one hopes to portray at any given moment.
Like any contemporary exhibition concerned with the contemporary world, Emergence has much to worry about (and worry in contemporary art certainly isn’t just a contemporary concern). John Feodorov broaches issues of environmentalism, consumerism and a culture disconnected from its roots.
No, yes, Christ, crossing, 10, times, poison, pirates, dead string, straight-edge, I’m lying, I like you�an X can mean a lot of things. But an X is never just an X. In Crux, Mokha Laget creates a space to meditate upon the X and all its connotations in order to leave those associations behind�or not as the case may be.
No one ever suspects the basket weaver. The practice fits so easily into nursing-home craft circles and pre-industrial agriculture, and doesn’t usually push boundaries. The woven bamboo works at Tai Gallery, however, do just that, in regard to the craft.
This reporter, having never seen 1933’s Duck Soup, the referent of David Kearns’ Painting Groucho’s Duck, watched the cult classic in preparation for this review. While it’s a delightful way to spend 68 minutes, don’t expect it to illuminate much about the exhibition.
Artist Jared Antonio-Justo Trujillo’s works come in thematic pairs, and each work is further divided intotwo separate parts: an image and an illustration, for the most part. A black-and-white archival pigment print of a waifish model greets gallerygoers as they enter.
Peyton Wright’s entrance hall is crowded with oil-on-canvas works from floor to ceiling, slightly over-devoted to devotion. The gallery’s labyrinthine rooms span the 1500s-1800s with hundreds of pieces. Devotion finds its way into paintings, silverwork, furniture and carvings, which feature Jesus, Mary, angels and saints in any number of mythological scenarios and degrees of ecstasy and agony.
Some masks are for hiding. Some, such as Jim Carrey’s in The Mask, are for putting on other, more efficacious faces. Ryo Mikami’s masks are stand-ins for a whole spectrum of human emotions—just don’t rely on the placards to illuminate which emotions they are.
With feet planted in a morass of sand, overhead vision blocked by a blanket of blue and only theoretical understanding that we were being recorded, perspective was elusive. We had risen before 10 am to make our way—by bus, by bike, by foot and by carpool—to the San Ysidro Crossing.
To tell history as a single story leaves out many voices. El Otro Lado, or the other side, attempts to assuage the thankless void left by so many people’s untold tales by giving them a voice—and a visualization.