gabriela salazar

Nests, Shells, and Corners | Six artists rethink how we occupy everyday spaces: home, office and studio.
Curated by Ken Wood

Meramec Contemporary Art Gallery - St. Louis Community College

Opens Friday, June 3, 5:30-8
Runs through September 2011.

Summer Gallery Hours:
T-Th: 11 am - 4 pm; Sat: 11 am - 3 pm.
Closed Sunday, Monday, Friday and Holidays.


A house constitutes a body of images that give mankind proofs or illusions of stability. We are constantly re-imagining its reality: to distinguish all these images would be to describe the soul of the house; it would mean developing a veritable psychology of the house.
- Gaston Bachelard, “The House: from Cellar to Garret”, from The Poetics of Space

Six artists rethink the way we see and occupy places. Some look for beauty in the banal, or subvert the roles traditionally ascribed to the basic elements of architecture: the wall may become the oculus instead of the support; the column may become a place of transient impermanence instead of the structure that prevents collapse; the service space becomes the dwelling. Others talk about the appropriation and displacement of cultural icons that were made to
hold history in a fixed, rooted placement. Small scale and large scale get inverted, and monuments of permanence get toted off in duffel bags.

Gabriela Salazar starts with the most pedestrian of surfaces, the industrial rubber flooring of the gallery, and recreates it in a pattern of handmade paper sculptures that move from floor to wall.

In “Bounce with Me,” Jonggeon Lee uses the icon of the Egyptian Obelisk as a symbol of cultural displacement. The obelisk, most often seen as a conquerer’s trophy, here becomes infused with modern symbols of permanence and mobility.

Nick Hutchings challenges the role of architecture in a gallery setting; the wall, traditionally the backdrop and support for a framed work of art, becomes instead becomes the portal through which
the art is viewed. Removing a piece of the wall and framing it further transforms its place in the gallery.

In a short video R.C. Sayler use a small maquette to plan out changes to his studio, which he then enacts in real scale; soon the two scales get confused with each other, and the planner becomes part of the plan. A sculptural piece also plays with the idea of scale and dwelling as a life size figure occupies the space under a cupboard, recalling ideas of the domesticated and the feral.

Carlie Trosclair adorns the gallery walls with fabric, transforming one corner into a habitable soft sculpture. Frames embedded in the fabric accentuate the difference between the architecture of masonry versus that of cloth.

John Early works with dust and foot traffic to create one piece about making the transient visible, and another about the fleeting nature of language and place.