Exhibition and reception for current artists-in-residence Cathy Lu, Erik Scollon, and SFAI student artist Curtis Reid Henderson. This is the culmination of four months of work by the artists who have scavenged materials from the dump to make art and promote recycling and reuse.
Cathy Lu: Real Imitation
Cathy Lu’s work explores the way Chinese art and cultural objects are understood in the United States. As a ceramic artist, her practice often references Chinese pottery traditions, and she is as interested in tourist shop trinkets as she is in highly valued museum pieces. During her residency, she has continued her investigation of how value and meaning are attributed to objects, and what constitutes cultural “authenticity” in a transnational world.
Erik Scollon: Bring Your Body with You
It is possible that during his residency Erik Scollon has walked 26.2 miles in the studio, literally completing a marathon to create his artwork. He has used his phone’s tracking software to arrive at this number, with the underlying idea being that process and physical experience are key in the work. His residency project is rooted in the theoretical ideas of Maurice Merleau-Ponty who emphasized the role of the body, instead of the mind, in human perception. As the title of Scollon’s exhibition suggests, he asks the public to also engage physically to fully experience his art.
Curtis Reid Henderson: Punitive Damage
Curtis Reid Henderson creates a series of sculptures that play with elements of institutional infrastructure to express anxiety about consumption. A familiar “exit” sign becomes an “excess” sign, and a single school bell produces ear-piercing rings on the hour as a literal alarm clock/symbolic wake up call. He also manipulated a fire alarm light to slowly increase and decrease in intensity mimicking human breath—perhaps a lesson in deep breathing to get through uncertain times. Henderson also reinterprets tools using found handles in combination with crafted shovel and axe heads made from wood and aluminum. A series of relief prints Henderson produced by carving 2 x 4s juxtapose illustrations from technical manuals with images from comic books. Graphics, text, and some quintessentially American references are a through-line in the work.