Of Course Not

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In Amongst It, 2010 Collage On Paper 14" X 17"
I'm Lichen This! (Paul Morgan), 2011 6 Color Screen Print On Paper 20" X 26"
Of Course Not
Curated by: Svea Lin Soll

560 Second Street
Oakland, CA 94607
January 14th, 2012 - February 19th, 2012

East Bay
collage, silkscreen, posters, printmaking, stickers, humor, pattern mixed-media


January 11 - February 19, 2011
Swarm Gallery | OF COURSE NOT | Jessalyn Aaland + Paul Morgan

Swarm Gallery is pleased to present Jessalyn Aaland and Paul Morgan in their first duo exhibition, Of Course Not, on view from January 11 - February 19, 2011. The two will also co-create an installation in the project space.

Jessalyn uses stickers and found paper materials to create highly detailed collages of spaces and scenes inspired by the real world. Filled with color and texture, her collages depict aspects of our environment that we are purposefully destroying in order to produce and consume goods and commodities. Her imagery is intentionally hopeful, however, countering her otherwise serious content. Jessalyn believes that joy is essential to the sustenance of humanity, and that our ability to analyze, create and communicate may shift the trajectory of some of our darker doom. With an interest in imaginary and latent space, she uses collage to imagine how space can be utilized in order to encourage a more real and radical mode of communication while seeking to understand her own experience in the context of the greater world.

Paul's exquisitely detailed printmaking style trends toward investigations into the historic and geometric aesthetics of cultures all over the world. Patterns are a shared aesthetic understanding found within people across spatial and temporal boundaries. Through evolution, humans have developed an incredibly robust pattern-recognition system. When one looks at patterns, one utilizes a portion of one's brain that has been fine-tuned over hundreds of thousands of years. Our universal access to pattern recognition serves as a platform for communication in the most basic, fundamental way. Like Jessalyn's collages, Paul's works are compositionally and spatially complex; however, if Paul's patterns communicate a certain order, Jessalyn's collages speak to a more random sensibility. Although Paul is inspired by patterns from around the globe, each of his designs are original. Paul has a background in a music community in which radical politics are encouraged, incubated, and developed. This environment has extended to the realm of personal politics, where he attempts to make work in a political way. He is always critically analyzing his actions to confront basic assumptions about people, systems, and individual roles within societal contexts. Conceptually, the use of patterns allows him to "flatten the playing field" of cultural biases in an effort to squelch them.

This is Jessalyn and Paul's first exhibition at Swarm Gallery.

Jessalyn Aaland is an artist, writer, and teacher based in West Oakland, California. As an artist, she works primarily in collage, using stickers and found paper materials to create landscapes of human and other communities. In addition to her works on paper, Jessalyn designs posters, album artwork, and installations. She also publishes zines, dyes textiles using shibori methods, teaches English at a San Francisco public high school, and occasionally performs improvised vocal music. Jessalyn was thoroughly disappointed upon discovering that the opening line of Max Roach's "Driva' Man" is not, "The beach has an exciting history," as she had believed previously.

Paul Morgan began his practice as a printmaker through a common entry point: DIY punk. After much careful research, his work space evolved out of the bathroom and into a home-built print studio. Paul has mostly been known as a printer of posters for art and music events. He currently lives in West Oakland and is interested in plausible anti-gentrification strategies, liberal humor blogs, vegan resistance, the Whole Earth Catalog, and European football hooliganism.