Susan Hiller, Manfred Pernice, Hugh Scott-Douglas “Sea Changes” at Jessica Silverman Gallery, San Francisco
Jessica Silverman Gallery is pleased to present “Sea Changes,” a group exhibition featuring light boxes by Susan Hiller, sculptures by Manfred Pernice and paintings by Hugh Scott-Douglas.
For at least a century, the most innovative landscapes have not depicted nature per se, but rather used the environment as an opportunity to reflect on the human condition, psychological situations and artistic processes. Referring to a profound or notable transformation, the phrase “sea change” first appears in Shakespeare’s The Tempest when a spirit sings, “But doth suffer a sea-change, into something rich and strange.” The artists in this exhibition explore transformations in their surrounding ecological, technological and social landscapes to create “something rich and strange.”
Susan Hiller’s series “From India to Planet Mars” (1997-2004) draws from the artist’s collection of automatic writings and drawings by friends, art students, analysands, poets, mediums, as well as a few of her own. Hiller transforms them into stark, large, white-on-black, backlit photo negatives. These spontaneous expressions of the unconscious are manifest as maps, simple figure drawings, and handwritten messages scrawled in loopy cursive. The title “From India to Planet Mars” refers to a 1899 book, a classic in psychology, about Hélène Smith, a medium who claimed to be reincarnations of a Hindu princess and a regular visitor to Mars, whose languages she claimed to speak and whose landscapes she painted.
Manfred Pernice creates sculptural vessels with scales, materials, and aesthetics derived from the worlds of architecture, shipping cargo, and mass packaging. The works serve as complex, open-ended meditations on the increased segmentation, containment, and, to use Pernice’s term, “canning” of objects and space. His seemingly slapdash sculptures are often installed with sketches, maquettes, photographs, and texts to create multilayered systems of meaning. His work is a conglomerate of ideologies that he approaches through mental and emotional associations. Pernice’s work questions both the history and present of the world through it’s architecture, interiors, and non-places.
In reaction to recent debates about globalization and the environment, Hugh Scott-Douglas’s “Trade Wind” paintings explore the paths of commercial shipping routes, pondering the movement of people, goods, and nature around the world. Using satellite mapping software, Scott-Douglas isolates the weather conditions of different trade routes and removes the boats from the image capture. With a strong visual rhythm, the work depicts the natural forces of currents and wind directions as symbols. Produced with a flatbed inkjet printer, each work is made through a process akin to silk-screening wherein layer is built upon layer, creating a glossy and textured finish. The resulting, seemingly abstract work reinterprets the genre of landscape in the era of GPS navigation.
at Jessica Silverman Gallery, San Francisco
until 8 July 2017