Pictured Above: Victoria Fu: Bubble Over Green 1 (2015)
Admission for this screening is FREE
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Her work rejects language. She is drawn to the moment that precedes it, and her paintings locate a space that we can’t yet recognize, name or describe. She is seeking an experience that is at the edge of visibility, right before something is something. In her mind, an artwork is a place where countless decisions are condensed and compacted together, and she works to intensify that concentration by keeping her paintings small and reduced down to their bare essentials: color, surface and shape. Despite its intimate scale and minimalist sensibility,Guyer’s work is expansive and idiosyncratic. “A simple dot or a line,” she says, “would not be idiosyncratic enough.” The shapes she draws are nuanced and precise but also amorphous and even a bit awkward. They could be formal abstract compositions, but also a hieroglyphic form of language, an ancient or secret symbol, or a mark on a graphic score, and they combine the character and texture of each. In that sense, they are the opposite of ornament: they aim to make painting feel stranger, not more comfortable. We could call these shapes beautiful, but only because they are imperfect. (Anthony Huberman, CCA Wattis Institute)
Drawing inspiration from the Wattis Institute’s exhibition Léonie Guyer: form in the realm of, this program presents film and video works which explore personal symbologies, the nature of mark-making, the limits of verbal enunciation and assertive and non-assertive abstractions at the thresholds of the visible. Cryptic questions—verbal, post-verbal or visual—are presented; the answers provided are not as expected. Screening to include ascensions (2017) by arc, a 16mm “window onto eternity” composed of conflicting images and afterimages, both abstract and concrete; A Minimal Difference (2012), Jean-Paul Kelly’s 2012 fusion of modernist abstraction with contemporary news images suggesting disaster; Victoria Fu’s Bubble Over Green 1 (2015), a densely layering of gestural and mechanical art-making gestures; and two works by Sara Magenheimer—Nothing Comes from Talking (But Sound) (2012) and Seven Signs that Mean Silence (2013) which celebrate both the grace and absurdity of western linguistic symbolism while “meditating on the in-between places and negative space where meaning hides out.” Screening is bookended by two more 16mm works—Hollis Frampton’s Palindrome (1969), a compendium of organic abstractions “metamorphosed from the chemically mutilated flesh of color film itself” and Chinese Series (2013), Stan Brakhage’s final film, literally scratched onto “spit-softened emulsion with bare fingernails” several months before the filmmaker’s death.