In the Age of Information, actual reality has been supplanted by virtual reality, computer simulation, and false narratives. Since the concept of utopia is based on the improvement of reality, the disappearance of the real also signals the end of utopia. Without Reality There Is No Utopia illustrates this premise by examining false narratives that masquerade as truth; the collapse of Communism in the 1980s; the current financial crisis, which heralds the demise of Capitalism; the contradictions inherent in geopolitics; and the explosion of democratic uprisings around the world. The exhibition includes work by more than two-dozen international artists, and features works of photography, video, drawing, painting, collage, and more.
YBCA presents the latest Room for Big Ideas project, We Carry Each Other, an installation featuring works of art by Eliza Barrios, Lynn Breedlove, Philip Huang & Theo Knox, and Christraper Sings. Using the mediums of sculpture, projection, movement, and sound, each of these artists explores the intimate complexities — including desire, perspective, and queerness — of individual and group identity. Each work of art offers an alternative narrative of a journey each of us takes, alone and together.
Erin Shirreff, informed by her training in sculpture, explores the physical and technical aspects of image production in an effort to extend and examine the act of looking. This practice can be seen in the video Lake, which reworks a picture of Lake Okanagan in British Columbia from a 1980s tourist brochure using an intricate, multilayered process involving digital software and analog photography. Projected onto a freestanding wall, the work foregrounds the tension between a flat image and its three-dimensional physical support, providing an experience that is less cinematic, and more sculptural.
Shih Chieh Huang creates a sculptural ecosystem using found and collected objects — including toys, plastic bags, electrical devices, and sensors — into beautiful, ethereal installations that seem unexpectedly organic and life-like. For his exhibition at YBCA, he will create a work that reflects on the Bay Area’s rich legacy in both the machine performance movement and the countercultural aesthetics of psychedelia.
Headshot is an existential thriller, ripe with shadowy paranoia that will literally turn your world upside-down. This disorienting game of cat-and-mouse is played out in present-day Thailand, where a straight-laced cop is disillusioned and becomes a hitman. But when a devastating blow turns his vision upside-down, he finds himself engulfed by doubt. Transcending all clichés of the genre, the film is a stylishly executed Buddhist neo-noir. (2011, 105 min, digital)