October 25, 2007

New Exhibit Opens at University Art Gallery: "There's No Place Like Here" Explores the Concept of "Place" by Contemporary Artists

The University Art Gallery at Sonoma State University is pleased to announce its next exhibition, There's No Place Like Here, which opens with a public reception on Thursday, Nov. 1, from 4 - 6 p.m., and remains on view through Sunday, Dec. 9. On Saturday, Nov. 17, at 2 p.m., the Gallery hosts a reception and informal conversation with artists from the exhibit.

There's No Place Like Here looks at how some contemporary artists explore the concept of "place" - whether it is a familiar place fondly remembered, a place seen from afar but never visited, or a place that exists only in the artist's imagination - through painting, sculpture, photography, video, and sound.

Participating artists are Elliot Anderson, Val Britton, Kristin Bly, BULL.MILETIC, Russell Crotty, Lewis deSoto, Anthony Discenza, Todd Hido, Nina Katchadourian, David Maisel, Jeremy Mora, Julia Page, Lordy Rodriguez, Leslie Shows, Tracey Snelling, and Yin Xiuzhen.

Elliot Anderson (San Francisco) creates light boxes utilizing a self-designed software program that captures tourist snapshots from the Internet and blends them with images from 19th century landscape paintings.

Val Britton (Berkeley) makes large-scale collaged drawings, based on the language of maps and inspired by her late father, a truck driver making cross-country trips hauling industrial machinery.

Kristin Bly (Cleveland, Ohio) also uses maps as a starting point, although he gradually blocks out essential information, turning the maps into an instrument for aesthetic contemplation rather than as guide for traveling from one place to another.

Heaven Can Wait (2001-07), by the collaborative team of BULL.MILETIC (Oslo, Norway), explores the idea of panoramic spectatorship through the phenomenon of revolving restaurants. The ongoing project currently features views, displayed on flat-screen video monitors, from restaurants in such diverse places as Las Vegas, Vienna, Berlin, Cairo, and Reykjavik, Iceland.

Artist and amateur astronomer Russell Crotty (Malibu, Los Angeles County) works on paper-covered globes, covering them with detailed images drawn in pen and ink that describe both astronomical and ecological phenomena.

In Memorium, his series of computer-generated images, Lewis deSoto (Napa) recreates the floor plans of various houses in which he has lived, expressing contradictory desires to both remember and forget the events that took place there.

Working primarily in video, Anthony Discenza (Oakland) uses visual material appropriated from commercial film and television, including footage from popular American suburban housing sites, to address issues such as consumerism, urban sprawl, and media overload.

Todd Hido (Oakland) is represented by two images from his series Roaming, photographed while traveling around the country by car, that depict a somewhat somber, desolate view of the American landscape.

Nina Katchadourian (New York) works with a variety of media, including sound. In Surface Spoils: Concrete Music from Europe, Katchadourian collected discarded audiotape while driving through ten countries in Europe. The actual pieces of tape, maps of their country of origin, and the sounds from the tapes comprise the installation.

David Maisel (San Francisco) makes large-scale aerial photographs that chronicle the tension between nature and culture.

Using intentionally humble materials, Jeremy Mora (Los Angeles) creates miniature landscapes that draw inspiration from dollhouses, architectural models, and Japanese bonsai.

The video installation and mixed media work of Julia Page (Oakland) explores notions of American heritage. Her piece The Best Laid Plans examines the potential use of everyday spaces as survival shelters and was inspired by survivalist discussion boards she found on the Internet.

For the last several years, Lordy Rodriguez (Vallejo) has produced a series of complex drawings that systematically reconfigure the map of the United States, creating in the process imagined geographies and fictive landmarks.

Leslie Shows (San Francisco) uses pigment, collage, ink, and nontraditional materials such as rust and salt to make landscape paintings that waver between abstraction and photorealism.

Combining photographs, film, and sculptural materials, Tracey Snelling (Oakland) builds miniature environments of convenience stores, run-down motels, and other tired-looking structures.

The work of Yin Xiuzhen (Beijing, China) embraces the notion of memory and focuses on urbanization. She often employs old suitcases as a tangible symbol of the necessity of people having to move from the country to the city, from one place to another.

Free parking is available in Lot A near the Art Building. Gallery hours are Tuesday - Friday, 11 a.m.-4 p.m., and weekends, noon - 4 p.m. It is closed on Mondays and holidays (Thursday and Friday, Nov. 22 and 23 for the Thanksgiving holiday). For more information, call (707) 664-2295 or e-mail carla.stone@sonoma.edu.

ABOVE, is Tracey Snelling's "Mini Mart."

Jean Wasp
Media Relations Coordinator
University Affairs
(707) 664-2057