Main Gallery- Danielle Giudici Wallis

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Conversational Construct (brick), 2008 Brick, Wood, Mortar, Adhesive, Flocking, Paint 38" X 17" X 18"
Main Gallery- Danielle Giudici Wallis

602 Moulton Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90031
October 6th, 2007 - October 27th, 2007
Opening: October 6th, 2007 7:00 PM - 10:00 PM

downtown/east la
Open by appointment unless otherwise indicated per exhibition.

Currently I am exploring the construct of place through the use of architectural reference.  Fragments of walls and foundations act as boundaries that alternately divide or bind together.  Shifts in scale and the use of a controlled viewing field simultaneously amplify and collapse the distance between private and public, interior and exterior, and physical versus psychological space.
            This particular body of work began with a series of crates which, while referencing minimal form, allude to transience and all that it implies.  The crate typically dislocates its interior (assumed to be an object) from its external presence, as it is not visually accessible.  In this series the crate’s interior is accessible via a peephole inserted through the exterior surface.  Yet, the “assumed object” essentially remains in transit as it is permanently entombed within.  It also remains preserved and protected denying the very ideas of impermanence or fragility that are implied by the crate in the first place.  
            Further challenging the viewer’s expectations, these crates are almost empty.  They are more akin to architectural skins or interiors, devoid of all but a few, seemingly abandoned objects.  In effect, the interior walls and the emptiness they create become the object.  Despite their emptiness, the crate continues to function as a signifier of commodification.
            The Foundations Series consists of 35 cement tiles cast from molds made of the remaining foundations of partially razed structures on the now defunct Naval Air Station in Alameda, California.  The tiles are positioned to suggest a quilt pattern.  They are framed by a steel perimeter which is suspended by aircraft cable from the ceiling creating an empty volume.  The steel perimeter is detailed with fleur de lis corner brackets, a nod to New Orleans and the gulf coast, where many foundations remain while the structures they supported have been ripped away.  Below, echoing the larger rectangular form, lay a “carpet” made from sand and canvass, referencing the unstable land we have chosen to build upon.  A small steel ladder attached to the frame provides a vertical link between the two horizontal planes.
                 The area that this piece represents was once a privileged space, requiring a military identification card be presented to an armed guard for entry.  The station, which was originally operated by the army in 1930, was acquired by the navy in 1936 during the buildup to WWII.  The Navy maintained operations there until the Naval Air Station’s closure in 1997.  At that point the waterfront property, with its sweeping views of San Francisco Bay, was turned back over to the city of Alameda.  The city has struggled to find a developer willing to deal with the complicated and costly clean up of the toxic mess left behind by the Navy despite the inherent value of waterfront property in California. 
            While there are a myriad of issues to be explored here, the one that I am most interested in is the transition from a privileged place (guarded, fenced, and walled) into an open, public space. This is an idea I also found to be echoed in the devastation on the gulf coast.  With walls sheared away, only foundations remain to make claim on the land.  These relics of our presence fight to survive with the decay that surrounds them; both natural and manmade, tangible and intangible.