San Francisco, Calif., Nov. 17, 2016 — Continuing to introduce international figures to Bay Area audiences and give artists a platform to explore new directions, CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts will present the west coast debut of Parts-wholes (2016), a new multi-channel video installation by Canadian artist Melanie Gilligan; and Inhuman Transformation of New Year’s Decoration, Obsolete Conception or 2 (2016), a new mixed-media installation by Japanese artist Yuki Kimura. The two concurrent solo exhibitions are free and open to the public and will be on view December 13, 2016, through February 25, 2017.
The installation practice of Yuki Kimura (b. 1971 in Kyoto; based in Berlin) borrows from architecture, design, photography, and sculpture to make the immaterial material. She often incorporates found photographs in her work as sculptural objects, combining appropriated imagery with other found and constructed objects or furniture to create mixed-media sculptures.
For Kimura’s Wattis Institute show, Yuki Kimura: Inhuman Transformation of New Year’s Decoration, Obsolete Conception or 2 — the artist’s first commissioned solo exhibition at a US institution — she will produce several new works that reflect on doubling and repetition, which also continue her interest in photography’s objecthood and connection to time. The exhibition is co-curated by Wattis Institute associate curator Leila Grothe and head of publications Jeanne Gerrity and will include an exhibition brochure featuring an original essay.
The largest sculptural work in the exhibition, Table Stella (2016), comprises pairs of tables in three different sizes with a version of the same found photograph printed on the surface of each tabletop. The appropriated image depicts a room interior that’s murky and unidentifiable, although in it a mirror reflecting a window can be seen resting against a wall. Placed on the tables are ashtrays that, like the use of analogue photography in Kimura’s visual vocabulary, suggest obsolescence — markers of a recent yet bygone era rendered unnecessary by e-cigarettes or simply no longer in fashion. On the glossy, black surface of another table is a collection of Jägermeister liquor bottles in different sizes that allude to Kimura’s interest in western philosophical concepts of multiplicity.
Other exhibition elements include pairs of wall-mounted images — found photographs that have been digitized and reprinted on a large scale — and dual mirrors that further the doubling effects and reflect other works in the gallery and its visitors. The twin images reference a traditional Japanese New Year's decoration that symbolizes the idea of a mirror as well as the conflation of past and present.
Kimura graduated from Kyoto City University of Arts in 1996. She has had solo exhibitions at venues including the Izu Photo Museum, Japan (2010), and Daiwa Press Viewing Room, Japan (2009). She has also participated in numerous group exhibitions worldwide, including Ocean of images: New Photography, Museum of Modern Art, New York (2015); the 30th São Paulo Biennial (2012); Better Homes, SculptureCenter, New York (2013); and The 4th Daegu Photo Biennale, Daegu (2012).
Melanie Gilligan (b. 1979 in Toronto; based in London and New York) works across film, performance, writing, and installation. She is best known for low-budget video series such as Popular Unrest(2010), a near-future sci-fi drama and film installation that merges distinctions between documentary television, gallery exhibition, and theater. Recent works include The Common Sense (2014), an ongoing video series that, like much of her work, draws on the format of television episodes to reflect on the human impact of contemporary media, technology, and political economies. Most of her videos are available online, free of charge.
Gilligan’s vision of the future is speculative, dystopian, and often indistinguishable from the present, where bodies are merged with “big data.” Life under late capitalism is the primary condition examined in Gilligan’s narratives, and she displays her work in environments that address concepts of immersion and community in both content and physical structure.
Her Wattis Institute exhibition will include two components: the first—Parts-wholes (2016)—sheds the fictional narrative backbone found in much of the artist’s past work and, for the first time, composes the portraits of two real individuals (rather than fictional characters). Shown across multiple monitors in a dense cluster of moving images, the video features fragmented representations of people as they navigate a normal day. Via everyday situations, an impression emerges that reveals the effects of social, economic, technological, and political forces on daily lives.
Also, as current artist in residence for Wattis Institute’s Capp Street Project — established in 1983 as one of the earliest visual arts residencies in the US — Gilligan is creating a new scripted-fiction video work during her three-month participation in the program. Shot on location in San Francisco and San Rafael and featuring local actors and cultural figures, the work focuses on the Bay Area’s radical poetry community and recent history of political protest, highlighting what the artist describes as “an individual’s limited capabilities to fight back against the system.” Gilligan is also leading a graduate seminar course for CCA Fine Arts students during this time, and elements of that experience will inform the new work. The completed video will be presented in a special premiere screening at the Wattis Institute on the final day of the exhibition, Saturday February 25, 2017, at 7:15 p.m.
The exhibition is curated by Wattis Institute associate curator Leila Grothe and will include a brochure featuring an original essay by the artist.
Gilligan graduated from Central Saint Martins in London in 2002 and from the Whitney Museum of American Art’s Independent Study Program in 2005. She has had solo exhibitions at de Appel Art Center in Amsterdam (2015); Casco Office for Art, Design and Theory in Utrecht; Trondheim Kunstmusem in Trondheim, Norway (2015); the Presentation House Gallery in Vancouver (2010); Banff Centre in Alberta (2010); Chisenhale Gallery, London (2010); Kölnischer Kunstverein in Cologne (2010); and Transmission Gallery in Glasgow (2008). Critical writing is a central part of her practice, and she has contributed to numerous art magazines and journals.
About the CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts
Founded in 1998 at California College of the Arts in San Francisco and located a few blocks from its campus, CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts is a nonprofit exhibition venue and research institute dedicated to contemporary art and ideas. As an exhibition space, it commissions and shows new work by emerging and established artists from around the world. Recent solo exhibitions include Laura Owens: Ten Paintings; Jos de Gruyter & Harald Thys: Tram 3 (which traveled to MoMA PS1); Josephine Pryde: Lapses in Thinking by the Person I Am (which traveled to ICA Philadelphia and earned Pryde a 2016 Turner Prize nomination); Sam Lewitt: More Heat Than Light (which traveled to Kunsthalle Basel and the Swiss Institute, New York); and Ellen Cantor: Cinderella Syndrome (which traveled to Künstlerhaus Stuttgart).
The Wattis dedicates an entire year to reflecting on the work of a single artist with its research program, which informs a regular series of public programs and publications involving the field’s most prominent artists and thinkers. The current featured artist is David Hammons; past seasons featured Joan Jonas and Andrea Fraser. For more information, visit wattis.org.
About California College of the Arts
Founded in 1907, California College of the Arts (CCA) educates the creative leaders of tomorrow to make powerful contributions to society. CCA’s distinctive project-based educational model emphasizes interdisciplinary experimentation, risk-taking, and innovation.
CCA offers a rich curriculum of 22 undergraduate and 12 graduate programs in art, design, architecture, and writing taught by a faculty of expert practitioners and attracts promising students from across the United States and from 54 countries around the world. Graduates are highly sought after by companies such as Pixar/Disney, Apple, Intel, Facebook, Gensler, Google, IDEO, Autodesk, Mattel, and Nike, and many have launched their own successful businesses. For more information, visit www.cca.edu.
Lead sponsorship for Inhuman Transformation of New Year's Decoration, Obsolete Conception or 2 is generously provided by Sonya Yu and Zack Lara. Additional support provided by John MacMahon and The Japan Foundation, Los Angeles. Special thanks to Taka Ishii Gallery, Tokyo; Jägermeister; Sidney Frank Importing Co., Inc.; and Jonathan Roach.
The CCA Wattis Institute program is generously supported by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Grants for the Arts / San Francisco Hotel Tax Fund, the Phyllis C. Wattis Foundation; by Leadership contributors Patricia W. Fitzpatrick, Daniel and Manizeh Rimer, Kaitlyn and Mike Krieger, Chara Schreyer and Gordon Freund, Komal Shah and Gaurav Garg, Sonya Yu and Zack Lara, and by CCA Wattis Institute’s Curator’s Forum. Phyllis C. Wattis was the generous founding patron.
CALENDAR EDITORS, PLEASE NOTE:
CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts Presents Two Solo Exhibitions:
Yuki Kimura: Inhuman Transformation of New Year’s Decoration, Obsolete Conception or 2
Melanie Gilligan: Parts-wholes
December 13, 2016, through February 25, 2017
Opening reception: Tuesday, December 13, 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.
Location: 360 Kansas Street (between 16th and 17th Streets), San Francisco
Gallery hours: Tues. - Fri., noon - 7 p.m.; Sat., noon - 5 p.m.; closed Sun. and Mon.
Information: 415.355.9673 or visit cca.edu, wattis.org