Nikki Pressley: Contemplations and Actions In this new body of multimedia work, emerging artist Nikki Pressley addresses the enormous potential lying in the space of the in-between. Navigating between a personal understanding of black culture and the collective experience of it, Los Angeles and the deep South, autobiography and historical iconography, appropriation and authorship and past versus present, Pressley explores, with a focus on the processes of making, negotiation, and liberation, what happens to our bodies, language and our engagement with history in a place where transformations–rather than totalizing solutions– are given value.
At the center of the exhibition, a hanging sculptural mass of entangled protest signs, recreated based on archival photographs, provides the iconographic backdrop around which the main body of work– a grouping of mixed media drawings, watercolor “actions”, text -based panels, sculpture, and slide projection– is in direct dialogue, hinting at an examination of the nature of protest and resistance and questioning the viability of an outward collective voice in relation to a communal dialogue.
Daniel Hawkins: Railroad For his latest large-scale sculpture, emerging artist Daniel Hawkins initiates an investigation into the interaction of the tactile space typically associated with sculpture and a more illusionary, image-based narrative realm. In Railroad, an 8-foot segment of a railroad bed including gravel, railroad ties, and rails is set between two vertical panes of two-way mirrored plexiglas, with the mirror sides facing inward. Upon experiencing the piece, the almost filmic ilusion of an extension into infinity is created from each end, yet when walking around its open sides the piece collapses back into tactility. Choosing a railroad track for its loaded narrative and historical qualities as a sculptural form, including its role as an essential structural lifeline to the western United States while simultaneously being a structural path to death in Europe during the holocaust, Hawkins also engages a conversation with the history of its materials in the art-historical context of sculpture.