Three master of fine arts (M.F.A.) students in the College of Visual and Performing Arts’ (VPA) School of Art who are currently studying and living in Los Angeles as part of the college’s Turner Semester will present the exhibition “Tumult of Frozen Creatures” Nov. 5-Dec. 23 at CB1 Gallery, 1923 S. Santa Fe Ave., Los Angeles. A reception will be held on Saturday, Nov. 5, from 3-6 p.m.
Artists Eric D. Charlton, Cait Finley and Jack Honeysett have previously worked and exhibited collaboratively, but “Tumult of Frozen Creatures” is their first show in Los Angeles and the first time work from their individual practices will be presented together.
According to the artists, the title of the exhibition is drawn from the words of French poet and essayist Paul Valéry: “The ideas of classification, of conservation…have little to do with delights…I find myself in a tumult of frozen creatures….”
“Writing on his experience of museums, Paul Valéry, a French poet and essayist, expresses the aesthetic chaos created by attempts to conceptually organize the objects and narratives presented in these spaces—the science and art of the modern era,” say the artists in their exhibition statement. “These categories and logical rationale still pervade our means of ordering and receiving information. Such as, species and race classification, the ordering of time periods and of the sorting of matter into separate states. Eric D. Charlton, Cait Finley and Jack Honeysett’s individual practices directly question the efficacy and effects of such ordering of data and narratives.”
Charlton’s sculpture examines the relationships between objects. In “Tumult of Frozen Creatures” he will present a reboot of his OSCADIYO Project, where he collaborated with a data mining bot to create sculpture. Dredging the websites of “big box stores,” the bot, a piece of software created by the artist, chooses products and materials for Charlton to combine as sculpture. Through this collusion of human and machine, he aims to experience the effect of his sculptures from an object perspective.
Finley was raised on the high desert plains of western Montana. The subject of her work is science practice; she focuses on decay and the cyclical nature of existence. Her work questions the misuse of science as didactic truth maker. In her work “La Loba,” she creates a mythology out of cast objects and collected plastic ephemera. The story of “La Loba” is about a timeless she-wolf character that uncovers the bones of the dead to bring them back to life. Presented here as part archeological exhibition, she uses the myth of “La Loba” to question the relationship between historical mythologies and contemporary science communication.
Honeysett is a British artist whose fascination with history stems from growing up in the ancient man-made landscape of England, scattered with Neolithic monuments. Questioning the contemporary use of historical narratives and the romanticizing of the past, his “Museum Views” focuses on the aesthetics of the museum environment. Through photographic composition and bringing attention to the various frames within which historical artifacts are held—in this case the interior architecture of the Getty Museum—Honeysett equalizes the status of the piece, display method and interior architecture.
Funded through a gift from VPA alumna and VPA Council member Marylyn Turner Klaus ’56 G’57, the Turner Semester is a residency program for a small cohort of M.F.A. students in VPA. The program allows the students to experience the arts of the West Coast and to live and work in San Pedro (the Los Angeles Harbor area) during the fall and spring semesters.