Saturday, January 11, 2014

Artist David Adey Explores Self-Identity in 'Hither and Yon', Scott White Contemporary, La Jolla

By Cathy Breslaw

Hither and Yon
 is a combination of two-dimensional fragmented images of body parts laser cut on paper and arranged in three dimensional space, electronic works and sculptural installations. 

David Adey is inspired by concepts and ideas related to pop culture, outer space, mortality and resurrection, religion and self identity.  A central work is ‘Hide’, Adey’s exploration of the skin and surface of the human body where he gleaned 75,000 triangles from a 3-D model of his own body, that was peeled and flattened in one piece. He then used straight pins punched into each piece meticulously placed and arranged on a plastic board resulting in a ten by nine foot symmetrical diptych. 

Besides the deconstructed self mapping works, ‘Omega Man’ contemplates our human experience of ‘time’ with numerical electronic boards that are a visual countdown from one trillion seconds to zero with numbers moving in and out using Russian-surplus nixie tubes and the use of synchronized timers with GPS receivers. 

‘Life Clock’ is a personal piece. Working with Jeremy Clear, a fellow of the Society of Actuaries, Adey’s expected time of death was calculated down to the second based on his family history, lifestyle and health data.  

‘Flock”, a sculptural installation piece, is comprised of forty ceramic sheep made from the same mold that are leashed together by electrical cords connected to the same power source that lights a pink neon halo around each sheep’s head. This piece explores our notions of conflict between self identity and following the group. 

‘Fill My Cup’ is a fourteen foot singular tower comprised of ordinary commercially produced cups and containers of varying sizes – everything from small plastic cups to Starbucks cups, 7-11 Big Gulp to plastic large trash barrels – each sitting inside one another. This work sheds light on our consumer insatiability and consumerism in general.  

David Adey’s exhibition is  powerfully provocative – the works elicit deeply human questions about our individual place on earth, in the universe, and how we interact and navigate our way through our lives.

The show opens Saturday, January 11th and runs through February 15th. There is a film about David Adey showing at the Athenaeum on Feb 8 where he explains his process more thoroughly.
Flock   ceramic lambs, neon halos, electronics and wiring 

Hide   laser cut paper, fluorescent acrylic, pins,on pvc foam panel   120" x 54" diptych


  1. You need to watch the film Art by Constraint by by Dale Schierholt about David Adey to understand more fully these latest works. The 3 minute trailer is interesting and the full film will be shown again at the Athenaeum on Feb 8. These are laser cut paper works, pinned a various heights much like his previous works, but in this case they appear more abstract although they are actually self portrait of 3-d scanned versions of his body, made flat. Some of them even appeared scorched by the laser.

  2. I just saw this film on KPBS. Fabulous, inspiring. loved it.