A recent cross-country move has me considering geography in narrative terms, and San Francisco's combination of natural beauty and human industry provides abundant fodder. In Where, I combine distilled aspects of the landscape with common web iconography, such as map pointers and speech bubbles, to elicit a sense of the locations, emotional and physical, of human relationships. Distance, tension, fondness, chatter, distraction, and groundedness are some of the things I've been thinking about.
When I first moved to San Francisco, when I was 18, BART was
something that meant "the Future". I grew up in southern California,
and I clearly remember a 3rd grade textbook in the 70's, all about Our
Great State. Agricultural wonders of bioengineering would produce
more, with less; square tomatoes would get to supermarkets undamaged;
and BART was the Future! It was brand new, it was wonderful, it would
connect us with the urban centers quickly and cleanly and quietly...
Stratigraphy, as a non-archaeologist, is the relational placement of
different contexts from the past. As they are unearthed, artifacts are
described as 'higher' or 'lower', 'above' or 'below', based on their
relationship to the contexts around them. I think about this when I go
below to the future that I live in now. Both newer and older than the
deposits above it, the system tells a story that never came true.
I am intimately familiar with the large relief sculptures that adorn the entrance to the 24th St. BART station, it is 2 blocks from my house and I don't own a car so BART is one of my primary means of mobility. I don't know who made them, I'd like to check but a temporary structure built to repair the escalator is covering the information placard for these artworks.
These sculptures are dated, they are dirty, they are large and
impressive. They represent a different way of looking at public space
than today's age of smartphones and private this and that, they show
that BART's builders sought to honor the commons, today we are busy
chipping away at what is shared, chopping it up and monetizing it.
I set about to replicate these sculptures as the miniature maquettes
they probably once were, when, instead of being encrusted with pigeon
droppings and dirt they were imbued with optimism and egalitarian
my artist books and prints, I am interested in the way
that we communicate and what is said between, within and behind words.
installation, I explore two different modes of communicating: the
the emotional. Using symbolic shapes to represent the words, I present
an emotional, romantic communication style as a colorful, layered and
organic arrangement. In contrast, a
logical, unemotional manner of speaking is shown as a rigid and orderly
layout of black,
grey and white shapes. Dancing between these
two modes of communicating, an arc of playful orange shapes symbolizes
imagination; even when speaking in very different styles, our
imaginations are activated
by personal exchanges.
The installation is made up of three large relief and
intaglio prints created from laser-cut
plexiglass plates. The actual shaped printing plates are suspended in layers in front
of the prints, expanding the images off the two-dimensional surface.
There is a beauty and ease we
covet. We are constantly negotiating trespasses and consequences.
“Spalting” is the coloration
of wood which is typically the result of a fungal invasion. This biological
interaction creates lines and patterns that are highly sought after, however
this often compromises the integrity of the wood.
SPALTED boundaries is an
installation at the Window Treat consisting of an artist book and a dense maze
of porcelain coated limbs through which the accordion book unfolds. The text of
the book consists of a letterpressed poem about negotiation between two entities,
or perhaps the dialog could be interpreted as one voice within another.
The imagery of the entire
accordion book was created by printing and offsetting, essentially mirroring, one
small (5 inch x 6 inch) etching plate—over and over. The limbs were collected from the pruners at
Golden Gate Park who annually remove the growth to preserve the health of the
main organism. They were then coated in porcelain, which rendered them
completely bone white, and arranged in a maze of hanging white lines.
The overall effect of the
installation is to have the book arranged in a drawing of white limbs, which highlight
the drawn nature of the accordion book’s imagery. The lines of the white limbs echo how the
etching plate was used to make a drawing for the background of the book.
City trees on the street
outside of the Treat Street Window had to be recently cut down due to damage
from a biological trespasser. As San Francisco and the rest of the world warms
up, such interactions are becoming more and more common.
Lise Currie is a printmaker
and artist living in San Francisco. She has always been interested in the process of making and a particular love
of drawing, as they always felt integral in terms of processing and learning
about the world around her. Having scuba diving parents, she spent much time
growing up at remote dive sites in Mexico with homeschooling (on the beach, of
course) and had the Sea of Cortez as her own lab of discovery. The experience
of feeling like I spent half my childhood in the sea fostered a profound
respect and admiration for design, body plans, the balance of nature, and
fascination with its dichotomies. She has a particular interest in how we navigate, interpret, and negotiate our interior experiences with the
outside and social world. She studied
both Sculpture and Biology in school and earned her MFA at the San Francisco
Art Institute where she was granted the Printmaking Fellowship Award. “The process of printmaking became the perfect umbrella in terms of gathering up all my abilities and concepts about image,
text, and forms. I feel so grateful about my work, even though it is
agonizingly tough at times, and the opportunity it provides me to interact with
people through what I love to do.”See more of Lise's work