“Keeping Time” is the second in Kala Art Institute gallery’s two-part 2012 exhibition series that explores cycles of time and various modes of marking, tracking, measuring and keeping of time with drawings, photographs, textiles, sculptures and videos. Several conceptual themes and processes are shared by a number of the artists from the Bay Area, as well as artists selected through their nationwide submission review process including repetitive, almost ritual actions and habitsof the body; physical representations of the time-based duration of art-making; and recordings that document everything from the domestically mundane to dramatic movement of evolution and nature.
German-born artist Sonja Hinrichsen’s photographs documenting her snow-tracking designs have been highly praised and featured extensively from major news publications and contemporary arts blogs. The photographs are just the finished products of the abstracted organic, almost religious labyrinthine patterns she creates over time that involves a laborious process of mapping and an almost ritual traverse of the snowy landscape. She enjoys the ephemeral quality of her creations, both over a duration of time they are created and over a duration of time they are erased by the next snowfall.
Similar to Sonja Hinrichsen’s photographs of her walk within natural environments, Christina Seely’s subtle photographs are just a small part of her larger research projects in which she examines the confluence of the industrial and natural environments both currently and throughout history. They explore human’s relationship to time, delving into the semantics of mankind’s creation of tracking time passing versus nature’s rhythms and seasons that denote a passage of the same form of time. She also explores how ways in which climate change is altering these natural rhythms and in consequence the species who rely upon these timespans everywhere from the artic to the tropics. Although Seely’s projects often have a documentarian feel, her interest draws from a personal focus, derived from her own experiences and perceptions.
Working in an inclusive method, Leah Rosenberg’s paint sculptures are representations of the time of its making. Each piece, according to Rosenberg, is “a concentration of many “paintings” (a series of consecutively painted actions).” Each work is made by a personal system of accrual, and subjective response to color as a means of exploring how experiences and memories literally pile up. Her sculpture on the Kala Gallery floor resting upon the wall is made up thin sheets of acrylic paint that were poured out into trays and peeled out after drying. These layers of paint are stacked to resemble aspects of the artist’s daily routine: “As I go to or return from work, or in the moments between making dinner and eating it, or before going to bed… I select colors based on personal systems, sometimes referring to the text of a book that I am reading or the lyrics of a song…” a record of highly personal experience that is intended for all to share even as much of it remains hidden from view. The sculptures are placed in precarious areas of the galleries, and throughout the exhibition, like her previous exhibition at TrueSilver Gallery, the paints melts and loosens, forming different shapes throughout the passage of time on view.
Keeping Time will be at Kala Art Institute Gallery through November 22, 2012