Curated by Arezoo Bharthania
Artists: Arezoo Bharthania, Dawn Ertl, Kimberly Morris, Diane Williams
August 26- September 27, 2019
Opening Reception: Saturday, September 14, 6:30 - 8:30 pm
“Outside Us” is an exhibition of four women artists that are from different backgrounds and ethnicities, referencing social issues that they are confronting. They recognize their identity is manufactured through a filter of Western culture.
Their art examines the pressure imposed onto them to conform to societal norms.
They investigate the Otherness, which is a game of comparisons intended to define the majority and minority: male/ female, heterosexual/ homosexual, Western/ Non-Western. Identity develops from observed dissimilarities to the established majority. Therefore, identity is constructed; it is not essential.
The artists also use specific found objects that resonate from their cultural experiences and connect them to their memories. They seek the origins and narratives of what makes them an individual.
Arezoo Bharthania, Iranian American artist, which her works reflects the experience of creating home while existing in a state of in-between. It is a narrative formed through layers and gestures that blend her childhood and early adulthood in Iran with her current life as an artist in the United States. She makes mixed-media work to communicate, mutate, and abstract layers of memory with the knowledge that the idea of home is inextricable from political and social contexts. In Outside Us, individual works are installed together to build landscapes and cityscapes where memory and identity are abstractly reconstructed.
Dawn Ertl is Los Angeles based artist, her works are inspired by today's traumas, some of which may or may not be affecting us personally. The modules are based on changing systems. Her concerns are mostly towards Collective fictional beliefs, which lead to exaggerated fear and hatred, leading us to violent acts committed towards one another. We hear about these acts in varying degrees. From Mass shootings, cops killing black people and other people of color. To families being separated at the border and detained in inhumane conditions only sent back to countries they fled or have never been to. Plus, water, air, food, and soil pollution.
Kimberly Morris, a multi-ethnic individual of Creole heritage has played an enormous role in the way she views the world around her. She is of African and European decent; this greatly influences the way I experience society. Through the lens of beauty, she examines her position in the diaspora. Pressures of fitting into what majority culture defines as normal, neater hair and constrictive body type casting dictate her daily routine. She is questioning the judgment that is placed on not only her but on those who navigate the world with the same burden.
Diane Williams, as an immigrant from the Philippines. She tries to find a connection between her background and her landscapes where she lives now. Most recently, she has been making weavings out of cultural detritus such as ethnic fabric, yarn and plastic recycled from friends and family or salvaged from her local shops that are traditionally owned, run and supported by immigrants. The gesture of obtaining these materials provides connections with the histories and narratives of her community. She uses these weavings in a wide range of formats from wall hangings to installations to sculptural masks and monsters. she performs in these masks and include them in photographic, video and drawn self portraits.