Melting Point

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Climatic Extremes
Ragnarok Supply, 2009 Installation Dimensions Variable
Ragnarok Supply, 2009 Installation Dimensions Variable
Melting Point
Curated by: Susanna Meiers

16007 Crenshaw Blvd.
Torrance, CA 90506
November 23rd, 2009 - December 18th, 2009
Opening: December 1st, 2009 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM

beach cities/south bay
Mon-Tue 10-3, Wed-Thu 10-8, Fri 10-2
El Camino Community College
free, on campus parking is $2



Marshall Astor, Angie Bray, Bill Brody, Richard Carter, Michael Davis, Daniel Du Plessis, Mineko Grimmer, Rebeca Mendez, Tom McMillin and George Geyer (collaboration), Margaret Pezalla, Victor Raphael, Greta Waller, Tal Yizrael

November 23 – December 18

Reception: Tuesday, December 1, 7-9 p.m.

Is it periodic or continuous? Is it a temperature or a state of mind? Is it positive or negative? Is the change cellular or global? Is it an instant or the end of an ice age? Is it a heat wave or an all-encompassing climate? These are some of the questions addressed by Melting Point at El Camino College Art Gallery. Each of the14 Southern California artists whose works comprise this exhibition approaches melting point from a distinct perspective.

Marshall Astor presents Ragnorok Supply, an installation that functions as an interpretation of Ragnarok, in Norse mythology, The Final Destiny of the Gods, dealing most specifically with the idea of the final battle. The installation consists of a rectangular, dimly lit, black room with a pair of over-scale (10’ high) ice consistency resin swords at one end. At the opposing end a mandala-like logo counter balances the swords.

In Snow Field Metamorphosis, Angie Bray addresses the specific moment of melting in her photographs of stubble fields under snow and ice. Bray says, Catch a falling snowflake in your black-gloved hand and see it. Now stick out your tongue and feel it. Go look at the white field freckling with brown and green-each crystal melting one by one. Kneel down and watch carefully. You know it’s happening. But where? When?

Bill Brody, denizen of Alaska, shows black and white woodcuts of ice fields and glaciers from his surroundings. These dramatic pieces have the curious quality of intricate 19th century illustration, dealing directly with the enormity of wilderness landscape while addressing the contemporary issue of changing global climate.

Richard Carter exhibits acrylic paintings on canvas depicting massive glaciers floating in close proximity to American cityscapes, charted, under dark starry skies.

Michael Davis presents Icecapmelt, a prop/video-installation which Davis describes as, a stage device/presentation about those who believe global warming is just an illusion, a smoke and mirror conspiracy perpetuated by environmentalists and artists. The installation is comprised of a charred miniaturized and mechanized globe, capped by ice, whirling upon a spindle mounted in front of a painted night sky. This small, staged event is accompanied by a video of the heating and eventual burning of the globe as the ice cap melts.

Daniel Du Plessis exhibits 50/50 fire and ice, an oil painting on canvas (56”x18”) in which a glowing yellow rose emerges from a layer of ice and razor sharp icicles, against a blue ground. This piece deals with nature as metaphor for human emotions and romantic love.

Mineko Grimmer shows 3 dimensional work in which a cone of ice is suspended over a sounding mechanism. The cone is impregnated with gravel that drops against the bamboo sounding structure as the ice melts, creating an evanescent and unpredictable music.

Rebeca Mendez presents Weatherscapes, a series of large-scale color photographs of the gray glacial landscape of Iceland. This work explores the relationship of the weather and the landscape as it relates to human scale.

George Geyer and Tom McMillin present photo documentation of their installation, Climatic Extremes, a frozen chamber, in which a spiral coil, covered in ice, hovers above a heated steel dome. When a visitor enters the chamber the air is warmed, causing the ice to melt and drip on the hot steel…SSSSSSSS

They accompany this documentation with a sculptural work in the same mode: a heated steel disc is horizontally suspended beneath a water source that intermittently deposits droplets of water. When the water hits the metal tiny clouds of steam hiss into the air.

Margaret Pezalla produces large (up to 7’) paper glaciers that float under the gallery light. These dry, lighter-than-air, constructions oppose the frozen weight of terrestrial glaciers, conjuring up questions about the nature of matter.

Victor Raphael shows paradoxical hand-leafed Polaroid images of Alaskan glaciers, captured in an instant, that, which took millennia to form. Raphael also presents a video of caving glaciers in the far north.

Greta Waller produces small oil paintings of ice cubes melting, done in the tradition of Manet. While superficially simple and small, the image becomes monumental in content and form.

Tal Yizrael presents potent blue ice photographs, in which melting areas create images of abstracted human body parts. Additionally, Yizrael shows photos of her colored ice casts of objects from everyday life-miniaturized cars and houses, melting.