Shelter / Place 

April 17 - TBD

High Noon Gallery is pleased to present Shelter / Place, a digital project in collaboration with the gallery’s roster of 19 represented artists containing both an object and video component— one part relating to the artists’ practice, the other relating to them as individuals. Artists included are Eleanna Anagnos, Marisa Baumgartner, Fatemeh Burnes, Amanda Church, Jennifer Coates, Cara Cole, Ryan Crotty, Robert Otto Epstein, Theresa Hackett, Mary Jones, Jill Levine, Daina Mattis, Ali Miller, Mary-Ann Monforton, Bobbie Oliver, Taro Suzuki, Colin Thomson, Hanna von Goeler, and Lindsay Walt. In keeping with the concept of the exhibition, 15% of sales made from April 17th through the time the gallery can resume regular operations will be donated to the Ali Forney Center, a New York based non-profit founded in 2002 dedicated to providing services to homeless LGBTQ+ youth. 

Before the pandemic began, I was unfamiliar with the term “shelter in place,” even though its usage had become more ubiquitous over the years with the increase in mass shootings. Though the literal definition is to “seek safety in the building one currently occupies,” its language has a clear delineation from the urgency of other emergency proceedings such as “duck and cover,” “sound the alarm” or “lockdown” (that it’s often used with synonymously). 

Although art making is by its nature generally a solitary enterprise, a period of quarantine during a viral pandemic doesn’t necessarily present itself as a welcome opportunity for creativity. Transitioning from a studio practice structured around the routines of one’s life doesn't likely translate to unlimited time— or desire— to make art, given that the psychological, economical, and interpersonal conditions to sustain a studio practice vary wildly from artist to artist. Viewing it will also be uniquely personal, as it’s only accessible through a digital platform while the gallery space is closed. Consequently, this project also sets apart the notion of shelter as a physical space from an emotional/psychological space and explores the difference at a time when a safe housing situation is an uncertain future for many people around the globe.

 

While the words “shelter” and “place” are both nouns and verbs, the 42 artworks in the exhibition (two to three works per artist) highlight the themes of introspection, isolation, and pause that the mandate implies. Additionally, the works often span a period of time within an artists’ practice, drawing new connections amongst individual practices and creating a narrative arc across the participating artists’ various media and modalities. The video component is a response to “shelter,” including content ranging from literal to non-linear, personal to appropriately absurd. At a time when we are ordered to remain physically distant from each other, what does it mean to provide and be provided shelter and how can places both corporeal and mental oscillate between refuge and imprisonment? 

Taro Suzuki’s painting, Japanese-American (2017, acrylic on canvas on panel, 30” x 30”) addresses the increase in racist/xenophobic behavior and narrative towards Asian-Americans using optics as a metaphor for illusory spaces both interior and geographical. Like the paintings in this series, the overall picture becomes overpowering, making it impossible to recognize nuance. Mary-Ann Monforton’s object-based installations such as Sunset (2017, plaster gauze, paint, wire, ruffle, approx. 82” x 50” x 16”) use economical material to speak about economics, value, and temporality. Ruffled clouds set against hand-constructed column ruins both colored a “golden-hour” pink imply a finality that is as comical as it is cathartic. Fatemeh Burnes’s painting, I Was Born! (Factory) (2012, oil, acid, and natural pigment on aluminum, 60” x 40”) is a chaotic grid of abstract mechanics depicting her father’s factory in Iran that she grew up in as a tangled, fragmented question of security and identity.

The artwork and videos will be visible on the website and additionally the videos will be published and archived through a youtube channel and IGTV. Video content will be regularly uploaded as it is made available and proliferated through social media. Shelter / Place will run until the gallery can safely resume operating at its usual schedule. For additional information about the project or High Noon Gallery’s programming, please contact owner Jared Linge at jared@highnoongallery.com or 760.519.1956. We look forward to engaging with everyone at this time.