The art of Sonya Rapoport has long operated as a bridge between the public sphere of intellectual curiosity and scholarship, and the domestic one of spiritual inquiry and nurturing. Spaces of Life presents a group of Rapoport’s interactive works, created between 1980-2010, that function in the intersection between questioning and inviting.
The installation will be structured so as to infuse the spaces of the museum with the energy of the artist’s Berkeley home and studio. A mixture of documentation of original interactive installations, domestic objects that provide a launching pad for interactions, and new interpretations of the works’ systems of interaction will be developed in conjunction with Mills students and departments. Visitors to the gallery will engage in ongoing, distributed performance actions that draw on imagery and ideas from a range of disciplines including biochemistry, anthropology, psychology, and feminist studies.
Central to this installation of Rapoport’s work at Mills is Objects on My Dresser (1979-1983), an 11 phase work intended as a kind of “conceptual visit” to the artist’s home and studio. The titular dresser, which has occupied Rapoport’s foyer for decades, will be installed along with the original objects that sparked her investigation of the connections between symbols, words and ideas. Documentation of “netweb plots” created by Rapoport and by visitors to installations of previous project phases will be included along with a new “netweb plot” created with Mills students. The “Mills plot” will include images, correlative images and words determined by Mills students in advance of the exhibition, and will be on display for visitors to the exhibition to manipulate and customize according to their own, personal correlations.
Curated by Terri Cohn and Anuradha Vikram.
This exhibition is supported by the Agnes Cowles Bourne Fund for Special Exhibition and the Helzel Family Foundation.