Fast Forward: Growing Up in the Shadow of Hollywood
This exhibit features 43 photographs by Lauren Greenfield, documenting the experience of young people growing up in Southern California in the mid 1990s. While the photographs themselves are specific to one unique geographic location, the issues and experiences that are examined could be part of the teen experience anywhere. The youths struggle with the influence of wealth, racial and economic prejudice, drugs, sex and an image-based culture that glorifies youth, beauty and celebrity. Greenfield's photographs of Beverly Hills teens working out with personal trainers are set next to images of East Los Angeles graffiti artists. In all cases, whether recording the rich or poor, the overall impression is that to grow up as a teenager in Los Angeles is to grow up quickly, as both the illusions of Hollywood and the neighborhood peer pressure of the youth culture itself dominate the lives and rituals of the young. Exhibition held in the Main Gallery space.
Out of the Closet: Clothing as Imagery in Contemporary Art
This exhibition includes the work of sixteen artists who use the visual language of clothing and dress as a vehicle to explore deeper layers of human behavior and relationships. That clothing is the chosen theme for this exhibition follows obvious connections between clothing and art. Clothing is often considered art, in and of itself. Like art, clothing communicates ideas on a visual level. Both clothing and art employ symbolism to infer abstract concepts. And trends in clothing and art are influenced by similar external factors. An examination of either one requires a consideration of the social, cultural and political climates in which they exist. In this exhibition clothing is employed as metaphor, articles of dress are used for inherent symbolic meaning, and garments are represented in unexpected context. Exhibition held in the Main Gallery space.
"Waist/Waste Room" is a one-hour performance which refers to the physical and psychological aspects of squeezing the body into clothing derived from an image-obsessed culture. Performance artist Angela Ellsworth has created this intelligent commentary on female weight rituals, and provides humorous insight into our society's hypocrisy. Locked in the bathroom stall, with only feet exposed and fragments of flesh on a video screen, Ellsworth eats packets of powdered doughnuts while telling "fat stories". Ellsworth wears a pink cocktail dress with a compartment ruffle at the waist which houses the powdered doughnuts. The compartment is complete with sippers on each side so when more doughnuts are needed, she reaches into her own stomach of flesh which holds the packets of doughnuts. she appears to eat them from her won body. she eats herself.