Predicting the Present
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 PREDICTING THE PRESENT, Elias Hansen assembled discarded furnishings, such as a side table and door, and inserted hand-blown concave/convex circular glass to transform the objects into makeshift “seeing” stations. Peering through the appended glass, an image of run-down house is revealed. The low resolution photographs were taken by the artist and digitally manipulated to appear worn and aged. The glass insertions into the furniture might gain entry into their essence—what have these discarded objects witnessed? Were they inside these homes before they became detritus? Hansen resuscitates the objects, altering their original function into a metaphysical one.
Seattle Art Museum’s curator Michael Darling states, “His recent sculptures in this exhibition bear out this predilection, strapping beautifully crafted crystal lenses to tin cans with wire so that low-fi photographs can be scrutinized. The objects in the photographs, like the sculptures that house them, are of structures defined by an in-between state, some devoted to itinerant lifestyles like RVs, others downtrodden houses in the process of being reclaimed by nature.”
I made the glass lenses in Tacoma, at the Museum of Glass. I polished them in Ballard. I take pictures in my trips between the two places. I’ve found sheets of glass, epoxy resins, stove pipes and doors to build the lens housings and viewing contraptions at local dump spots. The contraptions, or investigators, form a system of confusing vocabularies between each other. There is no clear direction on how to use them; their physical function sits between the magnifying glass and the microscope. – Elias Hansen