3020 Laguna Street in Exitum
“Architecture is always dream and function, expression of a utopia and instrument of a convenience.”
Amir Mortazavi and David Kasprzak are pleased to present the opening of Highlight Gallery’s first project space, 3020 Laguna Street, a collection of site-specific installations created in a residence in San Francisco’s Cow Hollow District, on Saturday January 28, 2012. Featuring a set of works formed solely from the materials of a residence sharing the same address as the title, the exhibition takes its inspiration from the works of artist Gordan Matta Clark. Matta Clark’s investigations into unused or forgotten residential spaces—calling them “nonsites,” a term he adopted from his mentor Robert Smithson. These liminal spaces included alleyways, median strips, and small portions of commercial and residential architecture. Matta Clark purchased these sites to become the medium of many of his works and as exhibition spaces for projects from his peers.
Working in this tradition, artists Jeremiah Barber, Randy Colosky, Chris Fraser, Christine M. Peterson, Yulia Pinkusevich, Jonathan Runcio, Jesse Schlesinger, Gareth Spor, and Andy Vogt were invited to inhabit a modest residential space built in the 1800s. This site has been home to a number of residents over the last 150 years—fulfilling the dualistic role as both a practical shelter and a symbol of dreams and ideologies, as written about by Roland Barthes. Now slated for demolition due to structural instability, the artists were invited to enter the space, to set entropy in motion with perhaps a more sensitive hand and a “tool belt conceptualism.”
The artists have responded to this specific history of the building through many forms, excavating the literal scars contained within its walls, investigating the history of the site’s residents and the craftsmen who create residential structures, projecting their own histories and identities into the space, and enacting these investigations through the purely cathartic act of destruction. Please join us on Saturday, January 28th, for the opening of the exhibition—or perhaps more accurately, the wake of this site.
Jeremiah Barber is inspired by the spartan and religious environment of his childhood. His work revolves around the quest for/questioning of transcendence, of achieving the impossible. Head sculptures made out of plastic, tree branches, and rice paper explore where the spirit transcends the boundaries between the world and the body, while performative work such as balancing on free-standing ladders and tree trunks investigates the meditative state following duress and toil. Working in public spaces at times for an audience of none, humor and failure are constants in his script. Jeremiah Barber’s Dreamburn is partially funded by an emergency grant awarded from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts in New York.
Randy Colosky’s practice is both conceptual and material-driven. Informed by theories from the domains of science and philosophy, Colosky probes the hidden properties of utilitarian and cast-off materials. He has had recent solo exhibitions in San Francisco at The Museum of Craft and Folk Art and Ampersand International Arts and well as group exhibitions at Southern Exposure, The Lab and Kavi Gupta Gallery in Chicago.
Chris Fraser is a Bay Area artist whose immersive installations and performances approach a direct experience of our optical environment. He received his BA in history from the University of California, Davis and his MFA in studio art from Mills College. Chris was a recipient of the Jay DeFeo Prize and was a graduate fellow at the Headlands Center for the Arts. His work was featured in Bay Area Now 6 at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts.
Christine M. Peterson attributes her interest in absence, context, and periphery to a specific pattern of de-centered perception and a memory that defers to the sensory. Her work considers ambivalence and negative, indeterminate, and open space. She has exhibited in Tennessee, Wisconsin, New York, and San Francisco. She received a BFA in studio art from Middle Tennessee State University in 2008 and will receive an MFA from California College of the Arts in May 2012. She is the recipient of the Murphy and the Cadogan Fellowship in the Fine Arts.
Yulia Pinkusevich is an interdisciplinary visual artist. Born in Kharkov, Ukraine (former USSR) she holds a Bachelors of Fine Arts from Rutgers University and is currently a Masters of Fine Arts candidate at Stanford University. She has been awarded residency grants from Redux, Goldwell Open Air Museum and The Wurlitzer Foundation. She received the Murphy and the Cadogan Fellowship in the Fine Arts as well as Stanford University SiCA’s Spark and ASSU Grant. She has exhibited primarily in New York, Santa Fe, and San Francisco.
Jonathan Runcio presents arrangements of objects in a variety of forms and mediums that explore the steady and inevitable deterioration of man-made landscapes. He currently lives and works in San Francisco and earned his MFA from California College of the Arts in 2011. He is a recipient of a Joan Mitchell Foundation MFA Grant and has exhibited regularly with Ratio 3 in San Francisco.
Jesse Schlesinger is a visual and social practice artist residing in San Francisco. He works in a variety of media, including sculptural installation, photography, and drawing. In his buildings, and installations, Schlesinger works creating sculptural dwellings with foraged urban materials and found objects. Both private and public, these dwellings explore how we inhabit and contemplate space.
Gareth Spor was born in 1977 in Oxford, United Kingdom. He now lives and works in San Francisco. Spor holds an MFA from California College of the Arts, 2008 and he also earned a Ph.D from University of California, Berkeley in Neurobiology, 2006. He has exhibited in California, New York, Oregon and Florida.
Andy Vogt works in sculpture, installation, and time-based media. His site-specific, sculptural work focuses on the structural shorthand of our built environment and utilizes reclaimed building materials scavenged from the dumpster-rich San Francisco city streets. Andy holds a BFA from Carnegie Mellon University. He was a 2011 Artist-In-Residence at Headlands Center for the Arts. He has had solo shows at Southern Exposure, the San Francisco Museum of Craft and Design, Electric Works Gallery, and Ampersand International Arts.