Home Sweet Home
June 8 – July 21, 2007
The inaugural exhibition in the new ICA entitled Home Sweet Home, features 14 artists who examine the notion of home, not merely as a physical structure, but as a place formed by memories and a sense of belonging.
In celebration of its new home, the San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) is proud to present Home Sweet Home, a group exhibition that opens on June 8, 2007 in conjunction with the opening of the ICA’s newly renovated building at 560 South First Street. The inaugural exhibition will present the work of 14 artists including Richard Barnes, Mark Bennett, Jim Campbell, Jim Christensen, Stefan Kurten, Lewis deSoto, Doug Glovaski, Young Kim, Cassandra C. Jones, Hung Liu, Oliver Michaels, Long Nguyen, Stephen Sollins, and Catherine Wagner. From floor plans to coastlines to birds’ nests to wall paper, each of these artists shares his or her unique and distinctive interpretation of “home.”
Constructed Memory by new media artist Jim Campbell is a nostalgic memento of his childhood home, which burnt to the ground soon after he left for college. Lewis deSoto’s series of prints, entitled Memorium, represents houses in which the artist has lived. The floor plans are created from memory and are based on perceptions and impressions from experience.
Likewise, Jim Christensen’s autobiographical installation ideal home (under construction) consists of three scale model versions of the first homes that Christensen lived in as a child, stacked on top of one another. Made of sugar pine and basswood and based on memory and photographs, the houses are replicated in detail and shown in the early stages of construction.
Relocating from another country and moving from culture to culture transforms the notion of home. Since her emigration from Korea to the US in 1974, Young Kim has negotiated a balance between the notion of belonging to two places. The geographical locations in Untitled (Line) are based on real borders, whether they are coastlines or borders between countries. However, Kim isolates these vast stretches of land, extracting them from their actual geographic location, and thereby abstracting their specificity. Hung Liu’s self portrait, Resident Alien, is modeled after her green card. Above her image, Liu inserts humor by using the name “Fortune Cookie,” a sexual slang for Chinese women rather than her own name. The painting shows the artist caught between the two cultures that have shaped her life and speaks to her ambiguous sense of home and identity as an immigrant in America. Long Nguyen’s childhood recollections of the Vietnam War are central to his work. He incorporates landscape and the human form in fragmented and obscured shapes throughout his paintings that refer to his homeland and his family’s arduous journey to the United States. Like Kim and Liu, Nguyen balances his sense of home between two cultures and countries, both of which inform his identity.
Los Angeles-based artist Mark Bennett has made art firmly rooted in the collective American experience of television. His drawings and lithographs are “blueprints” of famous television houses from such classic sitcoms as The Andy Griffith Show and I Love Lucy. Several generations of Americans spent many hours in these homes and the people that inhabited them subtly informed our sense of home and family. Richard Barnes focuses on “homes” in nature. His photographs of bird nests document the birds’ incorporation of human debris – string, newspaper, dental floss, hair, etc. – in the construction of their homes.
In her site-specific installation Good Cheer, Cassandra C. Jones digitally manipulates internet images of cheerleaders to create colorful, kaleidoscopic images that appear as intricate floral patterns. Upon closer scrutiny, the images slowly dissolve into recognizable human forms. The interlocked, splayed limbs, upraised legs and bare midriffs of the cheerleaders slowly become visible. Jones reproduces these images on wallpaper, which she hangs in a room reminiscent of a grandmother’s dining room.
The Cardinale Project Room will feature a 14-minute video loop by Oliver Michaels entitled Train, which offers an intimate and dislocating experience of interior spaces. Michaels attaches his camera to a model train that passes through a series of rooms that appear connected, but are actually from multiple buildings. These disjunctive spaces become one vast fictional set.
Other artists in the show include Doug Glovaski, Stefan Kurten, Stephen Sollins, and Catherine Wagner.
Opening celebrations include a public reception on Friday, June 8, 2007 from 7:00 – 9:00 pm and an artists’ panel discussion on Saturday, June 9 at 11:00 am (free for members, $5 for non-members), followed by an open house from 12:00 – 5:00 pm. Printmaking demonstrations and docent tours of the exhibition are available throughout the day.