by Melody Contreras
La Estación Gallery welcomed guests on December 13th and 14th, 2019 for its new exhibition: Objects Who Hold | Objects Who Let Go. It surrounded the work of 8 artists who were enrolled in the Curating Performance seminar taught and curated by LLS Professor Sandra Ruiz. In addition, the collective worked closely with LLS staff–Laura and Alicia in all events and arrangements for the show.
The exhibition had a specific intention in mind. As the curatorial remark, “The group exhibition Objects Who Hold | Objects Who Let Go asks the audience to suspend their senses into the life-world of objects; objects who carry and release personal stories of suffering, pleasure, desire, and abundant afterlifes. How does holding onto a feeling, an entity, a moment in time also force one to let it go? And how can we learn to both withhold and release the very memories that bridge gaps between permanence and ephemerality? This show drives the spectator to embrace this tension of holding on and letting go as we all engage with experimental works that demand a tender and critical understanding of race, gender, sexuality, and the exuberant life and death of all their differences… All objects who hold on are also objects who will eventually let go. From video and sound art, sculpture and live performance, to multisensory installations and performative drawing, these artists embrace the dynamic interplay of object, subject, and spectator in an attempt to forge open and affectionate new worlds."
In preparation, the seminar course led two public workshops with Dr. Hypatia Vourloumis and Dr. Patricia Nyguen. “Resonating Practices: A Workshop with Hypatia Vourloumis” centered around the aesthetics of rigorous connectivity in the necessity of everyday life. “Breathe, Form, and Freedom: A Workshop with Dr. Patricia Nguyen” followed the form of breathing and how it is a purposeful method of survival within singular bodies. The seminar course also had the opportunity to attend a sound and light masterclass with performance artist and sound musician, Erica Gressman.
The collective had about 2 weeks to prepare the space for the opening event. Each individual dedicated much of their free time to paint, brainstorm, and check-in with the other artists, to ensure a seamless set-up. After weeks of intensive and meticulous energy, the gallery was flawlessly opened to the public. Following the curatorial remark, “For de Leon in A spoonful of brown sugar, the history of cultural pain speaks to the future of social change. Her work addresses the frustration of being a minoritarian subject in everyday life by disidentifying and riding the fine line of invitation and confrontation. In gripping history tightly to preserve inherited memories, Segev in Mielczarskiego 5, Łódź, Poland (subtractive charcoal translation) embodies and endures the act of listening and resurrects kinship by both remembering and interpreting the past. In the three iterations of the champ, s.g. privileges the ephemerality of touch and being touched by activating queer failure and questioning the limit and potentiality of radical intimacy. In Coby’s Griefwork (Red Ice), the animation of loss reveals the self-consuming, but also universal quality of mourning. For this artist, griefwork is inherently lonely; it’s the object’s presence that renders this singular act a plural engagement with the senses. In Sit With Me, the quotidian act of breathing forces us to feel the burden of queer and Brown existence. Reyes leaves us breathless in order to exhale a different modality for living under the precepts of colonial exhaustion. In a desire to be wanted in a world that renders certain life-forces invisible, Netti welcomes the spectator to share a breath with her. Inhaling Over Time blurs the thick line between matter and life, human and institution through a press, a gentle prod, an opening and closing. In Lengua Madre, Camacho Valencia’s mother tongues demand to be heard; in listening for the viewer’s affective responses, she restructures language, sound, and sight, staging scenes between a given discourse and a performed identity. For Contreras, meaning is material and spirit, feeling and becoming. In waterless borders, cultivating community requires unearthing landscapes for possibility by declaring an intention for something other.” The opening was beautiful and celebrated the stupendous critical work the artists had blossomed in those 3 months of working together.
Paulina Camacho Valencia
Laura M. Coby
Alicia O. De León
To learn more about the gallery you can visit http://laestaciongallery.weebly.com/?fbclid=IwAR3jOzu0qyFv9XlPnMdw7frvj2CtF55mPfbXGB90x2rJbvxj0GaNs3IYMek
Podcast with the Artists https://soundcloud.com/user-605923905