Saturday, May 21, 2016

Souls Made of Stardust at Sergott Contemporary Art Alliance

By Patricia Frischer

Souls Made of Stardust
Opening Thur. May 19 and Sat. May 21, noon to 4 pm
Sergott Contemporary Art Alliance
RSVP and directions: Tom Sergott 858.766.2377 

This is carefully selected exhibition curated by Andrew Utt on show by appointment at Sergott Contemporary Art Alliance. Some of the artists included have not been shown before by SCAA, but it was fascinating to see some of the artists we are familiar with in a new context. Utt has done a very careful job of writing an introduction to the show which is available at the gallery. I have my own take on the relationships between these works. But it is true that as Utt says, "Each artist performs an act of self-understanding and healing that leads to a sense of balance and peacefulness with their works. " The gallery was quiet and elegant due to the works being given room to breath.  

There were literally stars in the works by Madhaven Palanisamy  and Hung Viet Nguyen which set the stage for a celestial or cosmic content that was easy to read in Tania Alcala sky inspired abstracts.  The planet-like spheres created for the video of Momilani Ramstrum took advantage of the specially invented gloves she used to size and space the images and broadcast her voice. She gave a live performance but the video on display is an excellent example of her creations. Luján Candria's  photos of obscure city scapes were more earth bound but connected to the foggy realms of astral atmospheres.
Momilani Ramstrum (USA)

Momilani Ramstrum (USA)
Hung Viet Nguyen (Vietnam & USA)
Tania Alcala (Mexico)
Momilani Ramstrum (USA)

Luján Candria (Argentina) - These works have to be seen as reproduction appear flat and they are actually quite subtle and lovely
 Echo Lew continues the theme of light more specifically when we learned that these dark lines were actually the negatives of pin point light beams maniputated in space and capture on film. The corresponding black background with white lines does exist as well. This is a case where the works stand on their own but are enhanced by our under standing of their creation. 

Echo Lew (China & USA)
Echo Lew (China & USA)
 Luis González Palma is one of the most famous artist in the show and it was a treat to see his work in person. These photos are very much about relationship which is a strong theme for the last three artists. The back to back intertwined chairs with no seats, but a heavily patterned floor are ripe with symbolic meaning as are the mother and children chairs which face each other quite pointedly. These works glow magically because of the gold leaf that is applied to the back of the transparency.
Luis González Palma (Guatemala) 
Kodalith on gold leaf
Luis González Palma (Guatemala) Kodalith on gold leaf
Tarrah Krajnak, although not in search of her own identity, is definitely trying to create an identity from a particular time (1979) and place (Peru) of her birth. She has collected the flotsum of life at a turbulent time in her county when she was put up for adoption. This large concept gives a certain validity to the work which is not necessary in Anna O’Cain wonderful collection of objects from her past.  They stand on their own and any woman who has had to go through her mother's belongings will recognize the nostalgia of this grouping. But they are not over sweet or burdened with too much personal content. Instead we can relate to the works as markers in an ongoing and continuous compilation of the life process. 
Tarrah Krajnak (Peru & USA)
Anna O’Cain (USA). Notice the growing light for the sweet potatoes which will root during the course of the show. In California that would be an avocado seed! There is also a wonderful stack of letter sandwiched between two wall shelves. When asked why the numbers went to only 11, the artist replies that this is an ongoing series.

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