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Friday, August 19, 2011

Saturday Night at Place Gallery

Posted by Matt Stangel on Fri, Aug 19, 2011 at 7:15 PM

Drink it in: Zac Nelsons kombucha sculpture, Zoogleal Mats.
  • Place Gallery
  • Drink it in: Zac Nelson's kombucha sculpture, "Zoogleal Mats."

Saturday night (August 20, 6-9 pm) at Place Gallery sounds equal parts awesome and nutty. If you're unfamiliar, Place is part of Pioneer Place Mall's cluster of third-floor galleries. The galleries have been plugging away with interesting work for roughly a year, and Place's newest exhibit, Six, fits right in.

I'll get into the details after the jump, but here are some highlights: Brain maps, the video mash-ups that happen when an artist channels Gene Kelly as her spirit animal, kombucha sculptures, a soldier marionette trapped in a month-long, slow-motion narrative, a multi-screen video mash-up of art and advertising artifacts, and more.

Alright. Let's clear up that jumble of art stuff.

Mapping Brains.

For Six, Jennifer Lyn Thackray and Jessica Kay Bodner have created a light installation called "Mapping Brains." The work is a response to each artist's experiences with brain trauma, and according to the press release, "[the] installation combines a sculptural fiber-optics light piece and drawings that use the microscopic neurons and pathways of the brain to depict the universe inside your head." The artists' goal here is to delve into their mutual fascination for neurology while attempting to discover ways to “heal themselves.”

Hannah Piper Burns spirit animal, in tattoo.

You might know Gene Kelly as the male lead from Singin' in the Rain, but he's also Hannah Piper Burns' spirit animal (her words, not mine). The artist admits an obsession with the actor/dancer/director/choreographer, and the press release for the exhibition says that in “The Gene Kelly Suite,” she'll “create videos that use Kelly’s performances as raw material, appropriating his dance sequences in the manner that she has employed in previous work: 'mash-ups' that use this footage with appropriated sound (often contemporary electronic instrumentals) and her own poetry.”

Drink it in: Zac Nelsons kombucha sculpture, Zoogleal Mats.
  • Place Gallery
  • Drink it in: Zac Nelson's kombucha sculpture, "Zoogleal Mats."

Zac Nelson proves that one man's fragile trajectory through outer space is another man's meat head. Well, kombucha head. But it looks like meat. Look at it! Nelson is calling the sculpture “Zoogleal Mats,” and the process of building the work is described in the following terms: “These are forms covered with biofilm: a zoogleal mat that forms in the process of brewing the health tonic known as kombucha. While brewing the tonic, a combination of yeast and bacteria join to form the biofilm, which regenerates itself and is harvested every few days and applied.” Nelson says that his kombucha works “are made to look old and of unknown origin in order to remind oneself of the billions of years the earth has been floating in outer space, decomposing/regenerating, and to use our own short time on this planet wisely.”

Will Campbells Place.

Will Campbell's “Place” examines “the different selves that come from military service and being a civilian.” This exploration is being executed through the creation of a soldier marionette, and a time-lapse photo series will document the installation's planning and building phases. After the marionette is complete, the soldier will be repositioned throughout the course of the exhibition (also documented with time-lapse photography in order to “reflect the tension of bifurcated identities,” as the press release puts it).


“Buying In” is Jesse Malmed's multi-channel video installation that “mixes the languages of fine art and advertising by appropriating both.” Basically, he's editing preexisting videos and adding recognizable brand logos as a way to make literal “the advertising industry’s parasitic relationship with the avant-garde.” You can see the full set of videos over at Malmed's website.

Additionally, Jason Doizé's “Punching Out Requires Punching In” and Portia Roy's “Nesting” will be on view.

Place is located on the third floor of Pioneer Place Mall, 700 SW 5th Ave, and the opening for Six runs from 6-9 pm on Saturday, August 20.

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