The fourteen contemporary artists participating in Object-Orientation: Bodies and/as Things, at the Cerritos College Art Gallery explore a multiplicity of relational transactions and/or transformations between human bodies and the objects that extend, limit, inhabit, and surround them. In so doing, they directly, and/or indirectly, surface current body discourse, particularly the examination of the concept of the body-as-medium (i.e. the organ-ized body in a state of continuous construction and reconstruction, oscillating between holism and fragmentation). Through drawings, photographs, and videos, as well as mixed-media sculptures/assemblages, bodies (often those of the artists themselves) are presented in various states of articulation with, and/or through, material fragments of the natural/urban environment.
Some artists in the exhibition focus on the disturbing practice, especially in an image-obsessed culture, of the body-as-a-commodity (ie. a ‘project’ to be ‘worked on’), but others seek to purposely lose their subjective egos, at least temporarily, through a process-of-becoming ‘pure’ object, performatively emulating inanimate, or at least immobile, things. While a few artists revel in the sensuous patterns of pop-cultural consumption, others reveal bodies conspicuously weighed down by those same objects of capitalist consumerism. Not surprisingly, then, given this context, more than a few artists explore gendered/sexed power relations historically associated with scopophilia and the body-as-thing. In presenting personal and societal anxieties regarding an alienated body-in-pieces, many of the artists resort to hiding the intimacy of the human face, typically through an auto-topographic surrogacy of objects, while leaving the body itself very much exposed. Some artists actually allude to a speculative agency for objects, literally ‘skinning’ household things or cloaking the human body in a kind of textured camouflage, as if having been infected by the leaky patterning of adjacent objects. Whatever the circumstances, whether the objects (re)presented are anemic or abundant, the works are always held together by the unavoidable, though often unavailable, presence of human flesh and/or human form.
Participating Artists: Joseph Barbaccia, Nicole Belle, Melanie Bonajo, Brian Bress, Justin Cole, Monica Duncan, Jessica Harrison, Candice Lin, Samantha Magowan, Max Maslansky, Alex Mirutziu, Yuval Pudik, Macha Suzuki, and Suzanne Wright.