Review by Cathy Breslaw
'Poke: A Series of Provocations'
Mesa College, San Diego
August 26 - September 29th
|The Age of Enlightenment (installation detail)|
When we walk into an exhibition space we don’t expect to see a store with items for sale. Debby and Larry Kline want to mess with us by taking things out of context. They present us with beautifully crafted objects – shiny, cute, funny, odd, kinetic, and nostalgic. Just when they reel us in with lightness and humor, we are hit with the question “Wait a minute, what is all this and what does it mean?” At the Mesa College exhibition space they have packed in a lot of punches – from a motorized carousel and ferris wheel made with pharmaceuticals, to a large installation called “The Age of Enlightenment”’ consisting of several large white greek-style columns with relief vignettes of historically significant religious imagery. Included are colorful glossy ceramic containers made partially from ground down pharmaceuticals displayed on the wall, an installation called “The Candy Store” which includes items that poke fun at medications and the healthcare industry and small teddy bears crafted from real tobacco reminding us that cigarettes, regardless of the health risks are marketed to children. There is also a video and series of photographs related to the Klines ongoing project called "Dinner With the Klines", documenting their restaurant visits with creating small table sized sculptural works entirely made from items from their meal. Immediate and performative in content, the series of short clip videos are entertaining and engaging to any audience. The Klines who are married and long time collaborators, offer us a provocative mix of topical works posing questions we can ponder.