Broken Open: Sound / Word / Object
Cameron Crawford + Elise Ficarra + Evelyn Ficarra
January 17–February 10, 2019
Reception with the artists: Saturday, January 26, 6-8pm (poetry at 7)
Gallery guide and price list
We live in what Philip Fisher, an art and literature critic, has called “a culture of creative destruction.” Broken Open takes that general description and focuses on the specifics of what each term means. Three artists, working in different media demonstrate the process of breaking and opening,
Evelyn Ficarra a composer and sound artist focuses on the objects that make sounds, showing us in her installation how sound may inhere in the object even when not immediately audible. She projects sounds into objects and shows, too how in broken objects the sounds yet inhere, both as they suggest their original sounds, and in the sounds of their breaking.
Ceramicist Cameron Crawford is known for his creation of classical forms broken open to reveal not only their insides but also often with contemporary forms and colors spilling out of them. Here in his new work, he disrupts the surface of plates, incising in them images of his commentary on contemporary events. The domestic economy inherent in plates and cups is broken open and becomes a drawing surface to record a larger, often political economy, moving their significance to a broader context.
Elise Ficarra, in the poems she supplies for the sounds of Evelyn’s objects and her responses to the work of the other two artists, takes the echoing long “O” in the show’s title as her guide, offers images of what can be made of the attempts to break into wholeness, in the cracked vessels which are carried by and also are the women in her poem “Vessel.” “Disruption” a byword of the tech world, considered a necessary part of innovation, is, in contemporary culture, a frightening thing, as it is applied to the natural cycles, the breaking open of earth to extract fossil fuels, the tearing our of trees in our forests and the rupture of conventions that once held us in a circle of civility.
Broken Open offers reactions to this process and demonstrates that in the interstices, when the war-dragon Fafnir sleeps, art is made and remakes us. “There is a crack, a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.”
Raised in New York City, Cameron Crawford received a BA in Art from San Francisco State University and an MFA from the University of Washington. He has taught ceramics at California State University, Chico since 1995 and has presented lectures and workshops around the United States. He has been an Artist-in-Residence at the Banff Centre in Alberta, Canada, the Taller Cultural in Santiago, Cuba, the Archie Bray Foundation in Montana, and the Zentrum für Keramik in Berlin, Germany. His work has been featured in regional, national and international exhibitions, including most recently American Clay at the Museu de Ceràmica de l'Alcora in Castelló, Spain.
Originally from Chico, Elise Ficarra is a poet and educator who lives and works in San Francisco. One of the underlying impulses of her poetry is the question of how to live in this world, and the nature of the individual consciousness compelled to pursue this question. Her work interrogates the nature of experience that is at times fractured or fracturing. She is drawn to methods and chance operations to surface material that would not be arrived at via a direct route, such as divining words from books and signs, writing in response to visual art, playing with sound, rhythms, tapping into mythic elements, history, and current event. Proceeding at times through juxtaposition, broken or interwoven narratives, she is curious about how shards and fragments recombine into unexpected meanings and affinities. She is author of Swelter,winner of the Michael Rubin book award. Her poetry and other writings have appeared in various print and digital publications. She has an MFA in poetry from San Francisco State, where she is currently associate director of The Poetry Center.
Evelyn Ficarra is a composer and sound artist. Her work finds expression across a range of forms including music theatre, multi media, installation, dance, film and the concert hall. Throughout her career she has enjoyed collaborative work with choreographers, directors, filmmakers, and visual artists. Her musical ideas are often co-mingled with, or germinated from, extra-musical materials (words, images, sounds) which inform the development and shape of the music and leave their traces in it. In that sense, all her work is strongly interdisciplinary. In another sense, she is thoroughly single minded, hearing all sounds as music, understanding all time based structures (e.g. in film, dance, theatre) as forms of music, looking at all objects as potential sound sources for music. Evelyn is a Chico native and was educated in the UK (University of Sussex BA, MA) and at UC Berkeley (PhD). Recent work includes music and sound score for Listening Creates an Opening’ with Mary Armentrout Dance Theater at the Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (Rensselaer) in Troy New York, and O, One, a five minute robot opera for two Nao robots and cello. Evelyn is currently a Senior Lecturer in Music at the University of Sussex.
Evelyn Ficarra's Ghost Cup + smashed piano