A Forest: Cathy Akers, Annie Buckley, Anita Bunn, Siri Kaur
Come closer and see
See into the trees
Find the girl
If you can
Come closer and see
See into the dark
Just follow your eyes
Just follow your eyes
“A Forest.” The Cure. Seventeen Seconds. Fiction Records, 1980. LP.
2A Gallery is very pleased to present a group exhibition of photo-based work by Cathy Akers, Annie Buckley, Anita Bunn, and Siri Kaur entitled A Forest, opening Sunday, May 4, 2014 from6–9PM and running through June 8, 2014. This exhibition takes into consideration work by contemporary artists who employ images of trees and/or forests with a special significance. The exhibition title refers to the 1980 song A Forest by The Cure, with an additional nod to the seminal 1989 MOCA, LA exhibition A Forest Of Signs: Art in the Crisis of Representation curated by Ann Goldstein.
Ms. Goldstein’s exhibition presented photo-based works by a younger generation of artists who challenged the veracity of “a forest of signs” being broadcast in a new print media and television-saturated world. An unprecedented number of female artists were included in the exhibition – 12 out of 30 – including Dara Birnbaum, Louise Lawler, Sherrie Levine, and Cindy Sherman, all of whom continue to influence a new generation of artists investigating the meaning of representation.
The works presented in A Forest include images of trees that function as varying types of representations. In Cathy Akers’ Pee Performance series, she documents performances that take place in sites that have generally been the purview of male artists. In Pregnancy Pee the image is of a woman marking her territory – literally – in the woods. The women in the Pee Performance photographs are simultaneously vulnerable and powerful, exposed but sheltered by their own self-possession, by their intense subjectivity while performing the act of peeing.
Annie Buckley’s works are photo-montaged hybrids of the female figure with trees. The figure can be read as being/becoming a part of nature, but the figures’ branches reaching up toward an unseen sky are also elegantly ornamental and decorative. Inspired as much by her desire to challenge historic depictions of women as by the increased urgency of recognizing our interdependence with nature, these hybridized characters are neither fully human nor fully botanical. The figures blend the surreal quality of daydreams and meditation with the impact of individuality.
Anita Bunn presents a series of images of trees standing silently in their urban environment. InView From My Window the trees become ominous characters acting as sentinels, beneath the unnatural glow of city street lights. In contrast to the straightforward approach of Judy Fiskin, Bunn’s images are rich with color and dark emotion. Acknowledging the complex history of image making, the title of this series references Nicéphore Niépce’s 1826 work View from the Window at Le Gras, which is considered to be the earliest photo-process image.
Siri Kaur’s diverse body of work ranges from cosmic abstractions to purely narrative compositions. In Forest House it may initially appear that the house in the center of the composition – a lone structure silhouetted in the dusk light of a waning sun – is the subject of the photograph. The trees in the foreground, however, act as a screen through which the viewer must gaze. Kaur’s photographs act as mimetic cinematic screens themselves, examining the narrative power of photographic representation. The viewer is invited to construct a story about the unseen residents of the house and its place in the forest.
Cathy Akers received her MFA from California Institute of the Arts in 2006 and her BFA from Tufts University in affiliation with the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston in 1996. Her multidiscipline practice spans photography, painting, sculpture, and installation. Her work has been exhibited at Honor Fraser Gallery, Emma Gray HQ, and the Manual Archives in Los Angeles, as well as venues in Germany, Poland, the Czech Republic, Israel and the U.K. She received an Artists’ Resource for Completion (ARC) grant from the Durfee Foundation in 2007 and a Travel Fellowship from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston in 2012. She exhibit the complete Pee Performance series in Brussels in fall 2015 and in Wroclaw, Poland in January 2016. She lives and works in Los Angeles.
Annie Buckley, an interdisciplinary artist, writer, and professor, received her MFA from Otis College of Art and Design in 2003 and a BA with academic honors from UC Berkeley in 1990. Her art and writing are informed by her longtime practices of meditation and yoga and an exploration of the intersections between ancient Indian and contemporary postmodern philosophies. Her critical writing has been published by Artforum, The Huffington Post, Art in America, Artillery, and several other publications. Her work has been included in solo exhibitions at Carl Berg Gallery and Jancar Gallery, and was the subject of a large exhibition entitled Human Nature at Los Angeles International Airport, which was sponsored by the LA Department of Cultural Affairs. She was recently in the group show Tapping the Third Realm at the Ben Maltz Gallery at Otis College of Art and Design and Laband Art Gallery at Loyola Marymount University.
Anita Bunn received her MFA in Photography from Claremont Graduate University, Claremont, CA in 2007 and her BFA in Photography with honors from Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, CA in 1990. She has had several solo exhibitions at Offramp Gallery and regularly participates in group exhibitions and with local artist-run spaces. She has shown her work both nationally and internationally, and is in many public and private collections, including the Wallace Annenberg Department of Photography at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Capital Group, Los Angeles.
Siri Kaur received her MFA in Photography from California Institute of the Arts in 2007, an MA in Italian Studies in 2001, and BA in Comparative Literature in 1998 from Smith College. Kaur was the recipient of the Portland Museum of Art’s Biennial Purchase Prize in 2011. She has participated in numerous exhibitions, including solo shows at Blythe Projects and USC’s 3001 galleries in Los Angeles, and group shows at the Torrance Museum of Art, California Institute of Technology, and UCLA’s Wight Biennial. Her work has been reviewed in Artforum, art ltd., The Los Angeles Times, and The Washington Post, and was included in the 2013 California Triennial of Photography at the Museum of Photographic Arts, UC Riverside. She lives and works in Los Angeles, where she also serves as Associate Professor at Otis College of Art and Design.
2A Gallery is located at 400 S Main St #2A, Los Angeles, CA 90013 on the second floor of the San Fernando Building. Founded in August 2013, 2A Gallery is an independent artist/curator-run project designed to utilize a particularly unique space as a venue for creative production and exhibition. 2A Gallery occupies a small office space in a renovated downtown building. Each exhibition has an opening and closing reception. Otherwise, the space is open by appointment by emailing calvin@2AGallery.com or calling 213.924.3472.