Art Space Gallery at Fresno City College, March 9 – April 9, 2020
Caleb Duarte works in public sculpture, performance, and painting. He uses ordinary construction materials to create temporary structures; these often become sites for performances that Duarte organizes in collaboration with communities, most recently working with unaccompanied minors seeking asylum. In Chuchería (loosely translated as a thingof little value), Duarte uses drywall, lumber, packed earth, cement, and plaster to construct a spatial intervention in the gallery. Chuchería reflects on the powerful symbolism of home, systems of value as they relate to art history and culture, and the expansiveness of decolonial art practices in Zapatista indigenous communities in Chiapas, Mexico.
Recorded at Fresno City College and at CMAC (Community Media Access Collaborative) in downtown Fresno, GOING PUBLIC is a DIY public access TV show, directed by artist and filmmaker Liz Roberts and made with the participation of FCC students and members of the Fresno artist community. Episodic and accumulative, GOING PUBLIC builds over time as content is added, re edited, and looped. Thinking about issues of access, representation, local public conversations, and documentary, through the lens of a community college gallery.
Episode One: PILOT includes music and an interview with local punk band Squid Ink, and student generated content in the form of art tutorials and skits. Episode Two: How To includes a paint color mixing tutorial with Fresno based artist Kezia Harrell and her brother, Chaim Harrell, and more student skits and tutorials.
Episode One: PILOT screened at 6pm on October 10 at the Art Space Gallery, with simultaneous broadcast through Community Media Access Collaborative (Comcast Xfinity Channel 93 and AT&T U-Verse Channel 99 in the Fresno area). Episode Two screened on November 7th.
We have worked with a selection of how-to diagrams from a survivalist text since 2016, returning to the source material and developing different iterations of responses to it: acting out, reproducing, printing, layering. We are thinking about survival, audience, and the evolution of collaboration and trust over time.
How to Remain Human continues MOCA Cleveland’s focused engagement with artists connected to Cleveland and the surrounding region, including neighboring cities in Pennsylvania and Michigan. It features emerging, mid-career, and established artists, working across a wide variety of media, who question and affirm humanness.
The exhibition’s title is a line from the late Ohio writer d.a. levy’s “Suburban Monastery Death Poem” (1968). Ardent, aching, and raw, levy’s poetry captured the struggle for freedom and expression during a tumultuous time in Cleveland’s history. Among the artists in How to Remain Human, there is a shared sense of the need to make, in order to interrogate life and claim space. They explore various ways of acting in and experiencing the world, questioning how we can go on, relate, and be.
Language and narratives are found in many of the works, presenting chronicles of the everyday and the urgent need to communicate. Thick paint, familiar objects, and engagements with the body give the exhibition a heightened sense of touch and physicality. Humor and nonsense become tools to playfully puncture life’s routines, habits, and trials. Together, the works tackle the complexity and intensity of being human: conflict, power, pleasure, folly, doubt, loss, skin, sex, home, money, hair, rage, romance, confusion, darkness, lightness, reaching, pushing, here, now, never, again, more, always.
with Rose Bouthillier, Associate Curator, and Megan Lykins Reich, Deputy Director
Sylvia Savala’s paintings are fluid and gestural with a strong, Chicanx feminist perspective. Figures and objects sit in swirling, fields of color, symbols, and form. Her works often chronicle dreams, personal narratives, and the ebb and flow of relationships. They express the power of female desire and sensuality, often placing her body, and by extension, her identity as a Mexican-American woman, unapologetically front and center.
A sense of emancipation, fun, and self-love characterize Sylvia Savala’s paintings, with the artist’s irrepressible sense of humor evident in works such as Let them Eat Cake (2001)—a lewd play on the mythical words of Marie Antoinette at the time of the French Revolution—and Fast Car (2015) in which furious but measured brushstrokes capture a car as it speeds away from the frame. Lately, Savala’s paintings have become increasingly abstract, with towering, geometric, compositionsof cakes and other objects filling the frame.
Savala has spent most of her life in the Fresno area. Her home, like the homes of many artists, is an important part of her creative life and practice: it is filled with furniture, art, and color collected over time. Acknowledging this, we recreate a small part of her home studio within the Art Space Gallery.
Clase abstracta de brujería is a multi channel installation by Fresno based-artist and City College instructor Ricardo Rivera. Rivera’s expansive practice includes performance, drawing, and immersive installations that blend projections, video, sound, and sculpture.
Rivera’s practice involves digitally mapping the gallery to create a three dimensional model of the interior. Small idiosyncrasies of the space, such as an oddly placed clock or alcove, are incorporated into the work. The title of the show could be translated as abstract sort of witchcraft. It refers to multiple alchemical processes: that of transforming the gallery; of labor into art; of extracting images from computer languages; making the invisible visible. A more literal translation might be abstract witchcraft class, suggesting a kinship between teaching and witchcraft.
Ricardo Rivera (1970, Sacramento, CA) earned an MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute in 2001, and his BFA also from SFAI in 1997. Selected solo exhibitions include Oscillations, Maxxx Project Space, Valais, Switzerland (2016) and Fantasy is A Place Where it Rains: Part II, Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts, San Francisco, CA (2011). He has participated in numerous group exhibitions both nationally and internationally, including Words Imagined: Co-relations Between Art and Poetry, Sacred Heart University Art and Design Gallery, Fairfield, Connecticut (2017); Paix, Amitié, Limites et Réglements– Tout Ceci Se Trouvait, D’Habitude Á L’Extérieur, Installations in situ, Creative Villages, Leytron, VS, Switzerland (2016); and DRAWINGS | FRIDGES, Greene Exhibitions, Los Angeles, CA (2015). In 2014, he was awarded a research fellowship as a part of Ars Contemporaneous Alpinus, a theoretical and applied research project about the issue of site- specific practices taking the natural environment as a context in Sierre, Switzerland.Before his role at Fresno City College, Rivera taught at several Bay Area institutions, including the University of California, Berkeley, City College of San Francisco, Stanford University, and the California College of the Arts.