Current Exhibition (opens September 27, 2019)
West is South: Jane Mulfinger
September 27-December 6, 2019
About the Exhibit:
Belonging to a place, knowing the sights, sounds and smells, the quality of light, the people in it - these are all aspects of understanding our existence within space on a visceral level. Belonging is many things.
As a multicultural town on the California coast, the natural beauty of Santa Barbara belies economic struggle and cultural disorientations. So many stories are out there and this work will extract and share narratives of the people who live in the town itself and the surrounding satellite communities. The art of detailed narrative - descriptions of sounds, sights, smells, textures, qualities of light, are all aspects that will be the foundation for a roving, publicly sited work.
At the end of Stearns Wharf there is a painted compass on wooden timbers. We become aware that while looking out over the ocean, we are not looking west, we are in fact looking south unlike the orientation of most of the California coast. Within this spatial misconception lies a parallel to a reevaluation of belonging.
There is a geological premise to this disorientation (Tanya Atwater, UCSB Emerita). The transverse mountain range that runs across what is now Santa Barbara County to Hollywood was formed as the Pacific Plate, traveling north, broke off a segment of the North American plate from what is now upper Baja California, spun it about 90 degrees clockwise and slammed it against the California coast about 300 miles north, pressing it into mountain ranges that includes the Channel Islands. The exchange between land mass and between people seems particularly resonant at this time.
About the Artist:
Professor Jane Mulfinger makes sculpture, photography, installations, and performances as time-based, phenomenological constructs. Her work addresses the contemporary urban environment, in particular, the relationship between architecture, memory, and the human body. With objects and text, she posits the sociological, political, and formal/spatial contexts of architecture and history.
Mulfinger first achieved prominence for installations featured in UK exhibitions, soon after graduating from London’s Royal College of Art. Early on, she presented solo exhibitions at Camerawork, London; Southampton City Art Gallery; Mayor Gallery; Camden Arts Centre; 30 Underwood Street Gallery, Beaconsfield Gallery, the Orchard Gallery, Derry, CCA Glasgow, and Galerie Guido Carbone and the Palazzo Bricherasio, Turin, Italy. Returning to the US in 1994, her work has been exhibited at the Franklin Furnace Archive, New York, and Armory Center for the Arts, Otis College of Art and Design, and Torrance Art Museum in Los Angeles while continuing to exhibit in Europe. She has received grant support from Microsoft Research and the University of California and has been resident artist at the American Academy Rome, Beaconsfield Gallery London, and the Djerassi Foundation, California. Reviews of her work have been published in Flash Art, Art and Design, Contemporary Visual Art, Art Monthly, Untitled, The Economist, The Times(London), The Guardian, La Stampa, and the Los Angeles Times.
Mulfinger lives and works in Santa Barbara, where she is a Professor of Art at the University of California Santa Barbara specializing in site-specificity and sculpture.