September 18 - October 16, 2021
12:00 - 6:00 PM, Wednesday - Saturday
Southern Exposure, 3030 20th Street
Saturday, September 18, 3:00 - 7:00PM
Southern Exposure is proud to present MONOLITH, a group exhibition curated by SoEx Curatorial Councilmember and artist Ricki Dwyer. The five artists in this show work across a spectrum of genres while accessing the autobiographical as raw matter. Working within a world which flattens and exploits personal narrative, these artists individually acknowledge the complexities of their lived experience, invest rich material practices in self-determination, and collectively construct a moment of bold relief.
Liz Roberts presents a short documentary on the lived experience of opioid addiction which combats the redemption narrative of sobriety. Leena Joshi’s vinyl sign is installed as an aggressive act of poetic reclamation of their own desirability. Jess Robbins exhibits the emotional navigation of searching for parental support through their sculptural installation of makeshift shoes titled Stand-Ins and accompanying performance Are You My Mother?. Charmaine Bee’s textile and medicinal herb installation sits within their Portal Series and the ongoing practice of connecting spiritually to ancestral lineage. Edgar Fabián Frías has installed a previously exhibited billboard project which had been vandalized as a hate crime. Within the context of this show they will ritualize the healing and release of this violence through a performance ceremony.
Often we look at art as an offering from the artist. We see objects as a record of one’s existence, a reflection of the artist’s perspective. But what happens if we consider the artist as a result of the process? Becoming slowly aware of the ways in which my own art practice has led me, scarred me, held me, I am drawn to ask how others’ work has shaped them. This project set out to consider the ways in which our practices have constructed our lives and aided in the development of who we are becoming.
The artists in this show all access their own story as source material. Each in their own way engages with an art practice as an act of self construction. They allow us to see studio time as the labor of wiping smudge from a mirror in order to view oneself more clearly. It is through the reflection of their own narratives that they are simultaneously re-writing the script. Each artist is bringing themselves into focus, collectively participating in the process of complicating the flattening expectations of identity labels. By making room for their own specificity in a world striving to categorize, these artists are creating more language for us with which to name ourselves.
I want this cyclic reciprocity between the art and the artist to be on view – the consideration that we are materials gaining form through the process of bringing these works into the world, how our own clarity of spirit can be the point towards which we navigate. And how artists speaking underneath the weight of monolithic identity boxes work towards a self-determination which erodes that singularity.
–Ricki Dwyer, Southern Exposure Curatorial Councilmember