Altar Alter Mini Storage
January 14 - February 28, 2010
The Company is pleased to announce our next exhibitions PREDICTING THE PRESENT by Tacoma based artist Elias Hansen and ALTAR ALTER MINI STORAGE by Los Angeles based artist Adam Janes. Although Hansen and Janes will be showcased as solo presentations, the impetus for the pairing spawned from a shared interest in the alchemic conversions in sculpture. Both artists engage the process of altering solids into liquids and back into solids by their respective glassblowing and candle making. On the surface, glass and wax are ubiquitous, innocuous materials. They become something of value once they are used as conduits for predicting the future or communicating with the spiritual world. These double meanings are amplified within the gallery, a former motel and a location for transient and clandestine activities. The viewer is asked to become a participant to the ways of the occult. But this is Art, so we present it to you with a dose of cheeky irony and skepticism for your comfort.
For ALTAR ALTER MINI STORAGE, Adam Janes retrofits The Company’s garage into a turquoise den filled with brightly hued wax candles molded in random shapes such as gambling die, skulls, diamonds, crystal shaped mountain, the artist’s teeth (with an incisor missing), a Chinese luck coin, and the iconic California brown bear. The cartoonish objects are displayed on wooden crates to form an altar, and a hanging carcass chandelier. The organized chaos is reminiscent of a cluttered new-age shop filled with crystals, trinkets, and tarot cards, each overwhelmed via display but significant in their individual meaning. Like crystals, which can be viewed as abundant glittering gems researched by geologists or as precious conduits for spiritual healing, the candles too can become fetishized depending on the viewer’s inclination.
Janes’ sculptural background, a discipline occupied with formal and structural concerns, loosens up in ALTAR ALTER MINI STORAGE. The balance between the completed product and the ever-changing one disrupts the formal obsessions and leaves everything to chance. Over the course of the exhibition, the burning candles will melt into other shapes, rendering the original forms unrecognizable and completing the cycle of total transformation.
The objects in play are the garage and multiples of handmade wax candles. The project originally started as a mass production candle factory. Found objects were molded and poured with colored wax. As the multiples began to accumulate an organization system was needed. Product displays and ceremonial altars seemed close cousins. Altars provided both a wide range of interpretation and a structural looseness that complimented the coldness of mass production. A hanging carcass of colorful useless candles disguised as a chandelier. The California brown bear rising from a bouquet of used candle shapes. A shelving system is overwhelmed by bits and parts of the candle making process. The cramped space itself provides an intimacy with the process much like sneaking into your neighbor’s garage and seeing something that you shouldn’t. – Adam Janes