LOS ANGELES – It’s a dizzying and disorienting experience, where moments of serenity with a sense of disgust. Opening Night Gallery’s new warehouse space, which opens this weekend, artist Samara Golden has built a mirrored room that creates the illusion of a skyscraper. The different floors offer competing images – from calm turquoise waters to curled snakes and crabs – capturing the strong emotions of the past two years.
The installation base has a relatively small area in the warehouse. But looking at the wedge-shaped space from an observatory and this skyscraper seems to rise endlessly into the sky, and down into the endless abyss. Along the way are a bunch of little twisted sculptures that evoke guts and a scene of a dumped apartment (as well as those snakes).
The installation is titled “Guts,” and Golden, who lives in Los Angeles, is, to a certain extent, a work of her own. In one interview, she compared the work to “a brain where different thoughts battle each other” — a sense of cognitive dissonance that is perhaps familiar to many people today. “I was completely devastated by the pandemic,” she admitted, describing feeling isolated and disconnected, “but I have always been someone who was uncomfortable with the world, seeing the injustices.”
The title can be read in many ways: it describes “the stomach ache you get if you’re scared, but ‘having the guts’ is having the confidence to try new things,” suggested the artist.
Golden, 48, has used mirrors before to create psychological installations for MoMA PS1, Fabrics and Museums, and Whitney Biennial 2017. At the height of that cutting-edge art, the viewer gazes at “The Meat Grinder’s Iron Clothes,” which Roberta Smith, writing in The New York Times, describes as “a peculiar combination of a mirror and eight furnitures.” The interior is half the size – including some down – that creates a kaleidoscope of endless reflections of class conflict. “
Smith added: “The combination of joy and horror it can evoke,” will please Georges Bataille, the radical philosopher, whose ‘truth has only one side: that of contradiction. fierce conflict’. “
While the Whitney installation exposes class hierarchies, the new work is looser and more intuitive in its visual flow. Golden has experimented with new materials, using spray foam to create small body and animal sculptures and dichroic (or laminated) vinyl to create a dramatically color-changing backdrop, depending on your angle.
“The work speaks to Southern California’s art history because of its visceral character,” said Davida Nemeroff, founder of Night Gallery.
Golden and Nemeroff first met while attending Columbia University’s MFA program and moved to Los Angeles around the same time in 2009. Nemeroff opened the Night Gallery a year later in a strip mall as a strip mall. artist-run space with nighttime hours (hence the name) before ramping up business, reducing normal daytime hours and moving south of downtown. Golden’s last solo performance featured “Serial Murders” in 2014, an ominous installation inspired by her grandparents’ living space.
“I’ve wanted to do a show with Samara ever since, but she’s had a lot of institutional commitments,” said Nemeroff. She immediately thought of Golden when she first visited the warehouse nearly a year ago, across the street from her existing showroom space. “I don’t want to offend too much but it’s like a junkyard, with broken mannequins, disco balls, feral cats,” Nemeroff said, noting it’s already been used. to go crazy. But she said it was still “like a sanctuary” and had the scale and observational background she knew Golden could use. After “Guts” launches, Nemeroff plans to use the space for regular exhibitions with a focus on sculpture.
At that time, “Guts” will visit the Art Gallery of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia, where the 344 million dollar expansion in progress to create a new contemporary art center. The piece will be part of the opening performance, “Dream Home” is expected to open later this year.
Its curator Justin Paton said: “There are quite a few scenes of emptiness in recent art. “But Samara’s scene is just the opposite: full of pressure, despair, fantasy, and possibly surprise – all emotional contradictions.”
Samara Golden: Gut
By March 26, Northern Night Gallery2050 Imperial Street, Los Angeles, nightgallery.ca.
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/01/21/arts/design/samara-golden-night-gallery-sculpture.html Samara Golden is overflowing with her ‘guts’