Let your mind's eye travel through the "Zone Modules" of Suzy Poling
For around a decade, Poling has lived in Oakland, perhaps the closest thing that California has to offer to those kinds of urban autonomous zones. As we move to another room in "Zone Modules" and she talks about a geometric costume she used to wear to early Pod Blotz shows — "I thought, 'I love theater of Bauhaus, I love Dada, I love the Vienna actionists, and I'm going for this !" — I'm struck by the unashamed enthusiasm for different periods and styles of art, some outre or out of fashion, within her work. To say it's refreshing in these jaded times would be an understatement. But this isn't naïve art — it's gradually formulating a personal vision informed by everything from optics and opthamology to Russian avant-garde posters. "I'm not going to deny these things — I like [Laszlo] Moholy-Nagy!," Poling exclaims at one point.
"I could reinstall this installation a bazillion different ways and it would always be different," Poling says, as a characterful projected object darts like a dragonfly around the corner of an adjacent room. Not all artists could make such a claim, and fewer still could say it and have the idea be exciting. Poling credits the endless potential for combinations present in "Zone Modules" to curator Julio Cesar Morales's insights about what to leave out of the show, but I think it also has something to do with the her experiences collaborating with artists on an international scale, and her kinship with them. Along with her best friend Kamau Patton, she was part of Official Tourist, an artist group that included members from Bosnia and Japan. "I'll relate to a friend in Belgium in Dolphins into the Future who makes psychedelic spacey new age music," she says, when talking about the music of Pod Blotz. "But then I also really relate to Haters in Los Angeles. They make totally different kinds of music, but they have a deep respect for each other."
In the back room of "Zone Modules," Poling's paintings — which layer paint over vinyl and and paper to create interruptions in form and shape — share space with geometric sculptural and light experiments. I stare into the triangular eye of a metallic sculpture in the center of the room and through a tetrahedral passageway, spy another trangle, this time painted. "I like having the ability to just go into making art with people," Poling says. "That feeling that the creation station is out there."
SUZY POLING: ZONE MODULES
Fri.–Sat., 11 a.m.–6 p.m.
Closing performance with Death Sentence: Panda, Chen Santa Maria
Queen's Nails Projects
3191 Mission, SF