Silverman Gallery presents Other Than History featuring new work by Torreya Cummings, Patricia Esquivias and Airyka Rockefeller that will be on view from October 17 – November 22, 2008. Other Than History deals with issues of representation and appropriation that exist in anthropology, art and documentation. Themes of fictionalization that come from sourcing from real and imagined artifacts, people and places will be presented through a variety of media. Each artist evokes the material residues of history in order to suggest how fictions and fantasies emerge out of actual artifacts, archives and collections.
Torreya Cummings, lives and works in San Francisco. Cummings will present new sculptural works, which include “Mail Order Tumbleweeds”and “Bearsuit”. Given that a tumbleweeds job is to travel, Cummings has ordered these from an online website and they travel to her but not in the way one might expect. Tumbleweeds move through the landscape, a path that is dictated solely by the weather and therefore have no clear destination or history. “Bearsuit” is a mythical creature from the West that never existed. For Cummings it is part of her desire to propose a queer takeover of what is known as the Wild West. For Other Than History it also functions as a kind of relic that invites the viewer into the new West, filled with fur, costuming, glitter and fantasy.
Patricia Esquivias, lives and works in Spain. Esquivias will present a new video work, “Measures two” that investigates measures of time and a sculptural work titled “Measures two”. “Measures two” is a sign with Spanish sayings ‘Entre pecho y espalda’ and ‘Entre la espada y la pared’ which translate to ‘Between the sword and the wall’ and ‘Between the chest and the back’ that describe the same space but very different situations. In these works Esquivias describes intimate spaces in a detached and utterly convincing manner.
Airyka Rockefeller, lives and works in San Francisco and central and eastern Europe. For Other Than History Rockefeller will present two new bodies of work. “Honza’s Diary (Skazka/Legend)” is a series of re-photographed photographs from the Czech Republic, whose quietly monumental self-portraits ask what a personal archive conveys once removed from its original context and catapulted into the realm of skazka/legends or skanzens/museums. “The Castle That Started It All” investigates the ongoing transformation of castles, from the functional to the vestigial, and from the mythical to symbols of contemporary kitsch. In both bodies of work, recontextualization brings the viewer’s attention not to fact or history, but to the gaps between experience and representation, a story and it’s storyteller, between reportage and memory.
All three artists relate to certain geographical places, making work, which emerges out of their own experiences in particular landscapes. Other Than History questions how we look at our collections, chronologies and archives, and how through sorting and re-presenting we often speak more to our hopes and longings than to the actual histories they are derived from.