Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Kala at YBCA (SF)

Note: This exhibit closes on 4/1/07.

Yerba Buena Center for the Arts is honoring Kala Art Institute (Berkeley) with an exhibition of 25 artists who have been in residence at Kala over the years. It's a worthwhile show, although the selection by YBCA curators is uneven. Not included are some former Kala artists who are more interesting than some of those picked for the show. Since YBCA has a “no photos” rule, this posting will be skimpy on visuals.

From Taro Hattori comes the latest installment in his “Beaut Brute” series of terrorist weaponry imagined as Mod/Minimalist consumer products. This time he has made a portable case that includes a cell phone and iPod, for the killer on the go. There are a couple of empty slots in the case, making you wonder what weapons had been there and how they were used. Below is a general view; at the top, a close-up of a grenade. (The images are from the artist’s website).

On a monitor in a hallway, Eunjung Hwang’s digital animation, “Fabulous Creatures and Bestial Delights,” is a hit. It’s funny, a bit morbid, and very skillful. A couple of stills are shown below (taken from the artist’s website).

Lauren Davies (who works at Kala) has contributed some work from her iceberg series. Grouped tightly on a wall are half a dozen drawings and one small sculpture. Davies, known for her odd materials, has made the drawing in graphite on vinyl upholstery fabric (two images below, from the artist).

Other highlights are James Sansing’s stairwell installation, Jeff Kao’s “Better Reception” sculpture, Samantha Lautman’s penny-sized engravings of Oakland scenes, and Srdjan Loncar’s installation “Mountain and Sunset Clouds with Mother’s Shoes.”

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