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Domestic Odyssey

San Jose Museum of Art, San Jose

An exhibition that features work by national and international artists who use household items, appliances and furniture, as touchstones for their work. In this exhibition, everyday objects are transformed into seductive, whimsical, and thought-provoking meditations on cultural, social, and autobiographical issues.

comunicato stampa

Featuring "KITCHEN," a Full-size Room Covered in 20 Million Glass Beads - A Masterwork by Los Angeles artist Liza Lou Is Centerpiece of Exhibition

Embark on a DOMESTIC ODYSSEY! Gallery Talk with Artists Sunday, March 7, 1pm Free Admission; reservations required, call (408) 291-5386.

On Saturday, March 6, 2004, the San Jose Museum of Art will open Domestic Odyssey, an exhibition that features work by national and international artists who use household items — appliances and furniture — as touchstones for their work. In this exhibition, everyday objects are transformed into seductive, whimsical, and thought-provoking meditations on cultural, social, and autobiographical issues. A major focal point of Domestic Odyssey is Liza Lou's contemporary masterpiece, Kitchen (1991-95), where Lou has taken a typical suburban kitchen and transformed it into something magical, while also exploring issues of commodified culture and the value of housework. Inspired by Italian mosaics, Lou — a recipient of a MacArthur Foundation "genius" award — spent five years creating Kitchen , her first major work. The installation is a three-dimensional, 168-square-foot detailed life-size replica of a 1950s kitchen that Lou covered with 20 million brightly-colored beads; it includes an intricate tile counter and dish-filled sink, a cherry pie cooling on an oven rack, and a table set for breakfast, complete with a box of Captain Crunch®. The life-scale room is an astounding, yet poignant environment, vacant of human presence. This is the first time Kitchen has been exhibited in Northern California.

NOTE: The Opening Night Party on Saturday, March 6, from 8pm to 10pm, organized by $teven Ra$pa Productions, will include performances and music by Mark Deutsch, Bazantar and Sitar; Kunst-Stoff, Dance Theater; Marisa Lenhardt, Soprano, Opera San Jose; Achilles Plunger, DJ and Musical Selections; Galya Rosenfeld, Clothing Design; and Aaron Wolf Baum, P.h.D, Video Fractals and Imagery. Museum members are free and non-members are $15.00. Call (408) 408.291.5386 to join SJMA or to purchase tickets. Open bar and cocktail snacks.

Running through July 3, the exhibition features: Marlene Alt, Margarita Cabrera, Helen Cohen, Willie Cole, Carlee Fernandez, Tiffany Forner, Megan Foster, Shadi Ghadirian, Brian Goggin, Mona Hatoum, Tulsa Kinney, Stephen Litchfield, An Te Liu, Liza Lou, Tony May, David Pace, Allen Topolski, and Yoram Wolberger, and includes recent installation, video, photography, painting, sculpture, assemblage, and prints.

Curated by SJMA Senior Curator JoAnne Northrup, Domestic Odyssey demonstrates how otherwise ordinary items can be elevated or changed into artworks of significant emotional and artistic resonance. She states, “These articles of daily life become surrogates for our own thoughts, fears, dreams, and desires, providing a fertile environment for gaining insight into the places we live, physically and emotionally. In a time of increasing strife in the world, it is revealing to note that artists have turned their attention to a more personal sphere — only to find that the trappings of domesticity can take on the worldly issues of the day.”

Artists in Domestic Odyssey create works that use metaphors of domesticity to explore issues of gender, class, and culture. Israeli-American sculptor Yoram Wolberger's sculptures are marvels of creative destruction, as seen in Refrigerator (2001), which, after being sawed apart at ½ inch intervals like a loaf of sandwich bread, has lost all functionality — yet still hums along, accumulating frost. Carlee Fernandez creates sculptures that according to one critic “amalgamate found trophy animals with ordinary household products and utensils.” The resulting hybrids satirize society's use of animals as servants of mankind, causing us to question the treatment of the “lower species.” Taking a more lyrical approach, Palestinian artist Mona Hatoum's delicate installation First Step (1996) combines an antique Shaker crib with a dusting of powdered sugar. The crib appears to have become animated and moved away from its sugar “shadow.” Bay area artist Tony May's impeccably finished, small-scale paintings convey a wry sense of humor, taking as their subject matter minor home improvements such as repaired cooking pot lids and handles, touching on issues of gender roles within the home. Iranian artist Shadi Ghadirian's 2001 series Like Everyday (Mesle Harrooz) consists of ten color photographs that incorporate common household objects in unorthodox ways and are designed to challenge the viewer's perception of Moslem women in contemporary Eastern societies.

Domestic Odyssey examines the minds and expressive capabilities of artists that have discovered the potency of transforming daily ritual and acts of domesticity into realms of personal narrative that override their original intent.

Major sponsorship of Domestic Odyssey is provided by The Mercury News. Additional support is provided by Aspect Communications and Vintage Wine Merchants. Catering provided by Parsley Sage Rosemary & Thyme. In-kind contribution by Gordon Biersch Brewing Co. and Cabaret Chocolates.

For more information, contact Jeska Dzwigalski, Marketing and Web Communications Associate, at (408) 271-6881.

In the image: 'Fiestaware', 1995. 9 color photographs displayed in grid, David Pace.

San Jose Museum of Art
110 South Market Street CA 95113-2383, San Jose
tel 408 2716881

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