Cathy Breslaw's Installation

Cathy Breslaw's Installation
Cathy Breslaw's Installation:Dreamscape

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

PLEASE DO TOUCH: Sweet Gongs Vibrating: A Group Exhibition at San Diego Art Institute

Sweet Gongs Vibrating
Group Exhibition: Curated by Amanda Cachia, SDAI Curator-in-Residence
Through May 29th

Article by Cathy Breslaw

Stefani Byrd with Amy Alexander   DIVA: Redux   Video Installation  2013

Please DO Touch is the credo of this multi-media, multi-sensory group exhibition curated by Amanda Cachia, San Diego Art Institute’s  Curator-in-Residence. This exhibition is as much about Cachia’s passion to “combat the ocularcentrism in our gallery and museum system”(curator’s essay), as it is to present the art of the 20 local, national and international artists using multiple modes of expression in their works. 
Cachia’s focus is on altering the viewer’s perception of ‘art’ – a shift from the solely visual as is the standard in our institutions of art culture, to art that includes all the senses – including touch, hearing, smell and taste. The result is a collection of works giving audiences an opportunity to fully engage – to interact to create sounds,using mallets hitting metal-casted objects (Aaron McPeake,’s Vibrating Gongs, 2007-2010),  to make sounds by simply picking up McPeake’s Singing Bowls(2011) and listening to sounds created by touch, to activate lights through the creation of making sounds (Cooper Baker’s Giant Spectrum 2016),  activating sounds by spinning wheels made of wood to produce various clicking sounds made by plastic straps and rods placed behind the wheels (Aren Skalman, Wheels, 2015),  and Margaret Noble’s works A Score for Conversation (2014) and Head in the Sand (2015), which asks audiences to activate sound and reverberations based on the speed of touch.  A series of videos highlight sensorial experiences such as Diane Borsato’s video Cemetery (2015) in which viewers observe a woman eating an ice cream cone from start to finish, hearing repetitive ‘licks and slurps’, as well as other listening to environmental noises.  In the video performance by an operatic singer, DivaReDux(2013), Stefani Byrd and Amy Alexander use music to speak about expressing the emotions of love, sorrow, joy and grief emphasizing the face as one of the most expressive part of the body.  Through these and many more significant art works, Cachia convinces us that we are capable of experiencing and perceiving art on many levels through more than the visual – including auditory, tactile and olfactory sensations that have the capacity to deepen and expand our connection to art and to the world around us.

Aaron McPeake   I Broke Her 78 Records   bronze gong with clapper   2007

Francisca Benitez   Son en Senas    video     2015

Raphaelle de Groot   Study 5, A New Place   video   2015

Cathedrals: An Exhibition by San Francisco Bay Area Artist, Jeff Ray at SDSU Downtown Gallery, San Diego

Jeff Ray: Cathedrals
SDSU Downtown Gallery, San Diego
through June 12

Article by Cathy Breslaw

  Jeff Ray  Saint Mary's Cathedral, San Francisco, CA(detail)   mixed media including musical composition   2016  

An atheist who loves cathedrals??  Hmmm…, yet that is what San Francisco Bay Area artist Jeff Ray told me
when I visited the pre-opening installation of his works.  His is a multi-sensory exhibition including photography, video, sculpture and multi-media works that combine drawing, photography, and sound compositions created by Ray. Ray expresses his love of architecture and nature by weaving landscapes together with acrylic paint, pen and ink line drawings.  Using photos of both interiors and exteriors of cathedrals, houses, commercial buildings, ships, and bridges, Ray overlays multi-colored ‘lines’ , creating geometric shapes, and thick and thin straight lines. Many of his works on paper are created on graph paper and some with LED backlighting, which feature Ray’s narratives and investigations of architectural spaces and underlying structures as they interface with the landscape and surrounding environment. The geometric ‘overlay’ drawing atop and within these photos stretches the depth of these works and it appears that Ray is on an obsessive search to locate the multi-dimensional layers found in the both visible and invisible spaces around us.  Some of the works include Ray’s sound compositions – these musical scores punctuate timing, movement and rhythm within the visual compositions and offer additional information to viewers about Ray’s central artistic concerns.  Two large-scale long and narrow inkjet prints on paper have a spiritual feel and are the foundation of this exhibition. These are site-specific works on tall and separate columns within the gallery space. Cathedral of Light,Oakland #1 is a dramatic interior image of a cathedral and the other related work is an outdoor image School with Redwoods,Canyon,Oakland #1 of tall trees that form a ‘natural’ cathedral.  An Untitled Video Montage, 2010 – 2016 of digital video, composition and sound round out this multi-sensory exhibition.

Jeff Ray    Decaying Bunker,Pacifica CA   Mixed Media including musical composition   2016