The Xiem Gallery in Pasadena, California will present the first installation of “DIG: An Imagined Archeo-Logism,” a ceramic sculpture exhibition featuring the works of sculptor Sierra Pecheur on February 16 through April 12, 2008. Comprised of close to 400 ceramic pieces that include over 350 skulls and bones, DIG represents an archaeological site, but in this case, the excavated clay sculptures are decidedly not congruent with the stories that popular myth promotes. As part of the six-week exhibition, the artist will host workshops that offer attendees the opportunity to create their own relics and artifacts to add to the exhibition.
DIG seeks to challenge existing belief systems by exploring the possibility of myth as propaganda. Pecheur addresses the stories behind two cultural myths: Medusa--which in Sanskrit means “sovereign female wisdom,” yet somehow evolved into a malicious snake-haired monster in Greek myth, and Icarus & Daedalus--whose relationship is explored in Pecheur’s question of cause, effect and accountability. A two-foot version of the Willendorf Venus, the earth’s guardian of the past 20,000 years, begins the Medusa evolution. With her chest cavity wide open and broken heart exposed, she still stands--a Medusa accompanied by her guardians: creatures both mythical and real.
Pecheur’s longstanding query, “What if...?” is answered with intricate clay sculptures that have the colors, tones, ferocity and whimsy akin to Arthur Rackham and Goya. DIG is designed to be an interactive exhibition that encourages attendees to investigate their own belief systems, values and biases. The workshops are an integral part of the purpose and process of the evolving and growing DIG. Through the workshops, attendees can participate in the imagined excavation, creating pieces that represent what they’d like to be found 10, 100, even 1000 years into the future.
Sierra Pecheur has been an artist since 1962. Storytelling has long since been a foundational aspect to her art, but in 2002, she committed to creating DIG, and began building a long lasting story--one that could be expanded indefinitely.