The Waterfall Flows Up, curated by Erik Martinson

July 8, 2015 @ 5:00 pm – July 29, 2015 @ 5:00 pm
Red Barn Project Space (Satellite Location) UCSB Arts Building, Room 1330
SceneHepworth_RMcRae_forEmailPhoto credit: SceneHepworth (series), courtesy of Rachel McRae.


The Waterfall Flows Up

Beatrice Gibson (UK)
Rachel McRae (CA)
Anna Zett (DE)
curated by Erik Martinson (CA)


July 8 – 29, 2015
Opening Reception: Wednesday, July 8, 5:00–7:00pm

Pixel by pixel, block by block, hair by hair, it’s all world building. Each instance based on a considered ecology of the image and all that it points to in history and fiction: it’s all done in post. Anna Zett’s dinosaur.gif sends familiar images from Jurassic Park scrolling up as her essay takes form, parceled out text overlaid on the circular movements of the gif-ed dinos. The promise of the pixel, the ‘digital’ that begins in this 1993 film, is realized in realistic reptilian flesh; all the while the terror of technological failure is responsible narratively for the chaos caused by the unbound creatures. There is a spark in the pixels, in the eye of the T-Rex that looks back, catching our gaze. In Beatrice Gibson’s F for Fibonacci the protagonist from William Gaddis’ 1975 novel JR, an 11 year old capitalist, is given an ‘in-real-life’ avatar of approximately the same age. From page to body to block, Mr. Money is created, his world observed directly through his point of view, his reign over blocks absolute. Minecraft is the site of his office, against practicality, gravity, and spending limits. The image is simultaneously made and stretched. Rachel McRae’s SceneHepworth series considers the sculptures of Barbara Hepworth as proto-meme, proliferated and spread in their own right as well as endlessly echoed in art and pop-culture as a kind of essential modernist form. Embodying this Hepworth essence, masks are made in the familiar rounded, organic shape, punctuated by a single hole, all the way through, in this case becoming the cyclopic eye of the mask. In bright colors, streaks of hair extensions flow asymmetrically to the side of the mask-face, a marker of ‘scene-kid’ aesthetics: a now mostly defunct sub-culture primarily circulated during the prime of My Space in the mid 2000s and loosely associated with a sub-strata of Emo music, it was all about surface, the hair. A repetition of organic form in-organically. Pixel by pixel, block by block, hair by hair, it’s all happening again.

Red Barn Project Space (Satellite Location)
UCSB Department of Art, Room 1330

Related Events: Monday, July 13, 2015
Curator’s Talk: 3:30-4:30pm
Film Screening – Portal Atop a Bus Stop: 4:30-5:30pm
Location: UCSB Department of Art, Room 1237

Erik Martinson is an independent curator currently based in London, UK.

The Waterfall Flows Up, curated by Erik Martinson is part of an events series organized by Alice Wang for the class Exhibition as Medium, and is generously sponsored by the UCSB Summer Sessions Cultural and Enrichment Grant. Special thanks to the UCSB Department of Art Space Committee for their support.

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