Caves of forgotten dreams - Page 2

Brice Bischoff's "Cave X" and Colin Christy's "Wild and Scenic" turn the outside inward

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Intimate exteriorities at Colin Christy's "Wild and Scenic" non-earthwork earthwork
PHOTO COURTESY OF SWARM GALLERY

For a more strenuous walk in the wild, you have to trek down Broadway to Jack London Square where at Swarm Gallery Colin Christy's living installation "Wild and Scenic" throws scare quotes around both terms. For this non-earthwork earthwork Christy transplanted native and invasive plants found around the American River from Coloma, California to a dirt mound in the gallery. The plants are watered on a regular basis, and they're painted with a bio-luminescent pigment to differentiate between native and non-native plants, so that Christy can track their growth patterns by taking long exposure time lapse photographs at night.

Of course, there's another contender in this battle royale: humans. The pile of wood, glinting with patches of gold spray paint, that forms a sort of bulkhead on one side of the mound, references the role the American River was forced to play during the Gold Rush, itself a massive piece of terraforming that has indelibly altered California's landscape. While drawing attention to this history of environmental degradation, Christy's piece — in all of its gratuitousness — cannot help but be somewhat complicit in perpetuating its legacy. There's life on the line, here, even if it isn't human.

BRICE BISCHOFF, TABITHA SOREN, AND ELLEN

BLACK

Through October 15

Johansson Projects

2300 Telegraph Ave., Oakl.

(510) 444-9140

www.johanssonprojects.com

 

INVASIVE HORIZON: NEW WORK BY JOSEPH

SMOLINSKI AND COLIN CHRISTY

Through Sept 23

Swarm Gallery

560 Second St., Oakl.

(510) 839-2787

www.swarmgallery.com

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