Design Matters is proud to present This Space is Not Empty, a group exhibition featuring works by LA based artists/designers: Yoko Kanayama, Veronique d’Entremont and Elena Manferdini.
This Space is Not Empty examines the processes and techniques each artist employs to foster an awareness of our surroundings. Whether through an examination of bodily phenomena, an investigation of urban figure/field, or a re-appropriation of nature through digital means, each artist considers a new interpretation of space and environment.
Yoko Kanayama's "Urban Forestry" documents the ubiquitous ficus trees in the Los Angeles area by using three different “decontextualization” techniques to draw the viewer’s attention to them. These three techniques rely on: silkscreen over photographs, photographs with unconventional compositions, and video with evolving soundscapes. Kanayama discovered that the best way to draw attention to these trees was to make them absent, by erasing their presence from the photographs. The hope is that after seeing “Urban Forestry,” viewers will begin to notice and appreciate the presence of these trees as they go about their everyday lives before these trees gradually disappear from our urban landscape.
Veronique d'Entremont's work confronts the negative space that occurs in between bodies and objects. By filling these empty spaces with the materials that then become sculptural objects, these sculptures define a non-space through the positive impression of a negative space. By placing plaster-filled balloons between her body and the body of another person, Veronique sets up a process that requires a negotiation between two bodies, and with the material that fills the space between them. These sculptures are then valued on their affect, transmission of content and the degree to which they broaden our understanding of the physical and poetic potential of a given material.
Elena Manferdini has created an entry for the gallery that will be used as a gateway from a monochromatic Los Angeles urban landscape into a multicolored immersive secret garden. The inside surface of the space will be covered by printed adhesive vinyl, where plants, flowers and insects will occupy floors and walls melting into material paint and fantastic colors. Ideas about nature and its simulation are central to the work, inviting the viewer to question what is 'real' and what is not. Such depictions will not yield to clean judgments or bottom lines, especially not about what is living or non-living, organic or technological, promising or threatening, true or synthetic. The interest of the installation is an expanded, hybrid nature whose depictions will collapse reality and artifice, and insinuate that contemporary materials are often a mutation from the “original” producing a world in which fact, fiction and fantasy co-exist.