How do we cope when monumental cultural shifts happen at a pace too rapid to process? We find ourselves at a moment when the apocalypse looms, either as fallacy or as fearful possibility. For her first solo exhibition in Los Angeles, Michelle Blade considers the concept of impending doom in relationship to cultural shifts currently underway. In Hanging Fire, she expands upon previous bodies of work, considering ritual and prophecy, the real and unreal, and our collective yearning to connect with the unfamiliar.
The title Hanging Fire implies delay and the in-between space that exists while waiting for a monumental shift. Informed by Castaneda (and his studies under shaman Don Juan), Blade regards death as an ally that sits with us throughout our life forcing us to consider the inevitable and live accordingly. In this, she imagines a dreamy and indeterminate vision in sync with an imminent transition. Blade’s psychedelic imagery also pays homage to California romanticism while referencing personal echoes of secret, meditative moments of solitude within a California landscape. For this exhibition Blade brings together painting and sculpture to address our need to create ritual and myth around death, new beginnings and cultural awakenings.