Shovels, Physiocrats, and the Light Footed Heavy Souls
In "Shovels, Physiocrats, and the Light-footed Heavy Souls", San Francisco-based artist Suzanne Husky presents the results of her ongoing artistic research into the history, moral underpinnings, quotidian realities, and potential futures of green anarchist lifestyle practices. This is her first exhibition with Gallery Wendi Norris, and Husky is the recipient of the 2011 San Francisco Artist Award (SFAA), a juried biannual award created to honor and support emerging and under-recognized artists living in San Francisco with a solo exhibition and full promotional gallery support.
This exhibition includes two documentary films, as well as found images and ceramics reclaimed from oil and fracking processes. "Wash", 2012, is a film contemplating the daily bathing rituals of individuals currently living “off the grid” and without tap water, who have devised idiosyncratic systems to collect, purify, heat, and maneuver all of the water they use each day. At once lush and humble, the film is composed of long cuts, situating each subject in his or her chosen milieu with the subtle eye of Ingres or Greenaway, and quietly demonstrates the direct link between natural resources and human activity. "The Plowing Lesson", 2012, traces the traditional development of the land and the moral and civic education of citizens from the Enlightenment, by recreating the painting with the same name by Francois Andre Vincent, which shows the son of a wealthy “industrial” Frenchman being taught to plow a field with a team of oxen. Finally, in native Paipai tradition, and as a part of a project conceived of with Jerome Waag and Travis McFlynn, Husky has created traditional water jugs out of bentonite clay reclaimed from oil and fracking processes. In a single elegant object, she contrasts the contemporary and ancient uses of natural materials in daily life, and illustrates humanity’s problematic connection to the world around us.
Suzanne Husky is a French American artist and activist based in San Francisco since 2000. She received an MFA from Beaux-Arts de Bordeaux, as well as advanced certifications in landscape design from Merritt College in Oakland, and has studied at CCA in San Francisco, and at University Michel de Montaigne in France and currently teaches at the Orleans Beaux Arts School. She has exhibited in the bay area at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, the Headlands Center for the Arts, Eleanor Harwood Gallery, Southern Exposure, and the San Francisco Arts Commission Gallery, and in France at the Musee d'Art Georges Pompidou, Cajarc and Evento 2011, the Bordeaux biennale. She has recently had residencies at Maison Daura and Casa D'Oro in Ariege, France, and Recology, the De Young Museum, the Headlands Center for the Arts, and Kala Art Institute in the bay area. In addition to receiving the SFAA in 2011, her other awards include Green Trophy Award from Wells Fargo, the Seeds of Change award from Southern Exposure, and a cultural equity grant from the San Francisco Arts Commission. Her work was recently acquired by the DRAC, the French National Art Collection.