2 x 2 Solos

July 7 – July 28, 2016

2 x 2 Solos is a series of solo exhibitions featuring new work from four accomplished emerging artists based in the Oakland/Bay Area. The program recognizes artistic excellence and supports the freedom to create challenging and noncommercial work. The July pairing features artist Dimitra Skandali in now the weakening shadow remains, and its cracked confidence…, curated by Samantha Reynolds, and artist Christie Yuri Noh in Information About the Outside World, curated by Marie Martraire.

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Dimitra Skandali, Aegean – Pacific: a Dialogue (detail), 2012, crocheted seaweed, dimensions variable

Dimitra Skandali  (Artist) x Samantha Reynolds (Curator)

now the weakening shadow remains
and its cracked confidence…

(a quote from”Orientations” by Odysseas Elytis, translated from Greek by Nikos Sarris & Jeffrey Carson)

Dimitra Skandali presents a site-specific installation of found, natural and manmade materials exploring the desire for connectivity, the fragility of networks and the effects of displacement in relationship to the body.

Skandali’s practice is rooted in a deep reverence for the natural environment and the importance of place as a signifier for identity. Gathering materials from her home island of Paros, Greece, local Bay Area beaches and international travel destinations, Skandali collects, dries and crochets strands of seaweed, among other materials, to create an immersive environment within the gallery. Through her labor-intensive process and repurposing of materials, Skandali creates an open-ended and empathetic space for visitors to explore and investigate.

For this installation at Pro Arts, Skandali has added sound elements to further activate the gallery space and immerse visitors in a sensory experience. By contrasting the fragility and physicality of the material with a cacophony of violent and shifting sounds, Skandali’s intricate web becomes susceptible to outside forces and dependent on its interconnectivity for survival. This push-pull relationship between audio and raw materials references contemporary experiences of displacement in connection to the instability of current global political, social, economic, and cultural climates.

Skandali’s installation of intertwining and diverging lines simultaneously recognizes our diversity of networks, pasts and origins, while also calls to our basic human desire to connect to our environment and to one another.

 

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Christie Yuri Noh, VI, 2015, 42 x 42.5 in. Copyright and courtesy of the artist

Christie Yuri Noh  (Artist) x Marie Martraire (Curator)

Information About The Outside World
Oakland-based artist Christie Yuri Noh does not explain the conceptual underpinnings of her artworks. Not that she cannot but, rather, she does not want to. The reason for not elucidating her research has nothing to do with giving viewers the ability of drawing their own interpretations about her work, a commonplace in the art world. The final reading of her works is not of primary importance. Instead, her practice counterpoints the omnipresence of #information and the status of knowledge in our everyday lives. Today data seems unlimited and its access effortless—Google search engine pulls millions of pages in a few seconds to answer our inquiry and our social media sites present thousands of aggregated news items in one scroll-down digital interface. The ultimate answer is the only goal that matters; the process of investigative thinking is inexistent.

On the surface, the recent and new works in Noh’s solo exhibition Information About the Outside World appear as attractive collages of fragmented digital images, mixed materials, and decontextualized objects. On outward appearance, the meaning of the works primarily interweaves with their visual physicality and their making techniques. Digital photographs are hand printed onto see-through canvases. Other individual transparencies are printed onto 10 x 10-inch cardboards challenging the most common 2 x 2-inch slide form. Together, the works push back on traditional considerations of the painting and photographic mediums (scale, size, labor, etc.).

Additionally, Noh’s works echo the continuous and saturated flows of information in our everyday. Few paintings depict objects too ambiguous for the human visual system to even recognize with one unique interpretation (an experience called multistable perceptual phenomenon). With a diminishing attention span, we are overwhelmed by the amount of available information, becoming passive in the search process and no longer paying attention to details. In and beyond the context of the Bay Area as the home to information-orientated companies compiling, organizing, sorting, and analyzing data, Noh’s works are therefore at odds with the mechanisms of 21st century information age. Sparking questions while concealing answers, the works and Information About the Outside World conjure the space of interrogation and the possibility for imagination.

*Light boxes courtesy Haines Gallery.

RELATED PUBLIC PROGRAMS

Opening Reception

Thursday, July 7 2016 | 6:00 – 9:00 pm | Pro Arts Gallery

Artist/curator-led tours

Wednesday, July 13 2016 | 7:00 – 8:00 pm | Pro Arts Gallery

*Major funding for this program is provided by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, the City of Oakland Cultural Funding Program, the Clorox Company Foundation, the W & F Hewlett Foundation, and the Zellerbach Family Foundation.