Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture (FMCAC) is pleased to present Sofie Ramos: Space to Breathe. In her new commission for FMCAC, Sofie Ramos inhabits three entry sites to the Fort Mason campus: the 1926 Guardhouse, the power transformer, and the driveway separating the two. Ramos’ fantastical installations suggest a painting expanding into space and often engulfing the viewer. Her playful use of vibrant color and exaggerated shape transforms everyday objects and interiors into their extroverted and dream-like cousins.
“Being is alternately condensation that disperses with a burst, and dispersion that flows back to a center. Outside and inside are both intimate—they are always ready to be reversed, to exchange their hostility.” -Gaston Bachelard, The Poetics of Space
Ramos remakes the Guardhouse as a miniature play house, visible only through the structure’s four windows. Chris Wood’s ambient soundscape highlights the contrasting energies at the heart of the piece, as the score calls us to spy a room we can never enter. The overabundant interior too sits close to a creeping claustrophobia, as a viewer imagines life within the crowded enclosure.
This push and pull of exuberance and restriction continues across the installation, as line drawings on the ground parallel the pedestrian crosswalk and lead viewers to a fantasy fence. Concealing the working power transformer, Ramos’ mural-like painting recalls children’s forts, carnival architectures, and fairy tales. A story waits to be told about setting out or coming home, about guarded treasures or safe houses, about the things we can see and the sights we imagine behind every wall.
About Sofie Ramos
Oakland-based Ramos creates installations that are inspired by everyday material culture, curating found objects and patterns to make the mundane strange through form, color, and whimsy. Her site-specific work is known for its colorful chaos and continuous evolution. Ramos has shown at Mixed Greens gallery in New York, Swim Gallery in San Francisco, and Johansson Projects in Oakland, and she is an alum of the Artist in Residence program at Facebook HQ, where she is the only artist with three permanent installations.
The stop-motion video work above, over and over and over and over and under, is from her Spring 2018 exhibition at Pro Arts in Oakland.