Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Authoring Evolution

This December, Loakal presents the three-person group show “Authoring Evolution,” featuring recent work by Robert Bowen, Xiau-Fong Wee and Lauren YS. The oeuvres of these Bay Area-based painters are steeped in science fiction. The three artists create a tension between the futuristic and the mythological with their otherworldly, figurative work. The human, animal and machine are combined to create hybridized forms that speak of the human condition in today’s increasingly digitized society.

Curated by Nastia Voynovskaya and Eddie Colla, “Authoring Evolution” probes the ways in which tropes that were once science fiction are becoming reality. Anthropomorphized animals have long been at the core of folklore across different cultures and time periods. In likening other creatures to ourselves, we illuminate our own strengths and follies. Yet, in recent history, our proximity to technological advances has changed the visual language of the human imagination. As drones become a factor in military operations and advents such as Google Glass and easily-accessible 3D printing are not too far on the horizon, the exhibition invites viewers to reflect upon how the surreal is bleeding into reality.

Robert Bowen’s paintings infuse a realist style with action-packed (and often militaristic) imagery. His depictions of insects crossbred with lethal weapons seduce viewers with their dangerous beauty. Focusing primarily on female protagonists, Lauren YS’s work recalls Donna Haraway’s famous essay, “A Cyborg Manifesto,” with its futuristic vision of womanhood that diverges from the traditional narrative of femininity. While Bowen and YS’s work is rife with dystopian elements, Xiau-Fong Wee’s contemplative paintings immerse viewers in a utopian setting where the spirits of nature seem to emerge from an enlivened landscape.

Opening Reception:
December 6, 6-10 PM
Loakal Gallery
560 2nd St.
Oakland, CA

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