Artist: Vanessa Olivarez
Exhibition: Don’t Be Careful, Be Gentle
Media: Acrrylic, Plastic, Film, Electronic devices
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Dennis W. Dutzi Gallery
Vanessa Olivarez is a student of the Sculpture Program at CSULB an is currently working on her BFA degree. Beside her sculpturing she also does some rather graphical art and has a little onlineshop where you can buy some things she made. The shop is linked above.
As Vanessa explained, the projekt of ‚Don’t Be Careful, Be Gentle‘ began as an material-experiment with the acrylic-glas that she used, but developed into something very deep and personal.
Vanessas installation occupies the whole room of the Dutzi Art Gallery, the entrance is covered with black curtains to keep it dark. The room is dimly lit by a pinkish red light and a small tv in one corner. Also there are two video-projections facing each other on opposit walls and right in the middle between these projections stands a small seesaw made of acrylic-glas. Every now and than the seesaw flips and with it the shown films on the opposite walls – one of them is then showing a drawing of a faceless girl looking into a mirror while the other one is showing hand-recorded videoclips of the artist in everyday-lifes situations. when the seesaw flips the videos swap and one is now showing the color inverted version of the faceless girl ond the other one shows the videoclips.
The small TV in the corner is also showing similar videoclips and is covered by a zigzag – plate of acrylic glas that reflects the clips.
As you can probably already see, the sculpture is playing with a lot of metaphors and symbolics that refere to self reclection and balance. That being said the overall feeling I had in the gallery was very emotional and somehow intimate. The whole very dense atmosphere that was created by the dim light, the noise of the old tv and the regular tapping sound of the seesaw made me feel very close to the the thoughts and feelings of the artist that were represented by the videoclips. somehow it felt like walking throught the brain of a self-reflecting soul. In a way very familiar but also a little intruding.