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--November 2016--

In Ludovic Duchâteau’s solo installation, In Dreamland, a little boy sleeps in a tent, his books strewn around him like imaginary portals. His world is shared with a creature, both a foreboding message of potential isolation and a promise of autonomy.

Dreamland is a place of refuge, steeped in the ambiguities of technology and its influence on our social interactions.

The little boy’s dreams–like the hopes and dreams of adults who are forced to use tents for shelter, or choose to for escapism– encapsulate our fascination and revolt in our world of great contrast.

Ludovic Duchâteau makes sculpture and installations that question our place and our projections in an increasingly technological world.

Inspired by science fiction and sociology, his work considers the emergence of consciousness and plays with the visceral tensions between attraction and repulsion.

Incorporating at times photography and performance, Ludovic’s hybrid environments are sculpted from resin, epoxy, plaster and found objects, and include painting on photographs culled from public archives.

Ludovic Duchâteau studied visual arts in Paris, France. He spent several years envisioning interactive 3D software using behavioral models, with human-computer interactions as a creative resource. His work has been shown in France, and more recently at The Lab, SF and in Oakland. Ludovic lives and works in the East
 

--October 2016--

Ernest Jolly | Safe as Houses | October 22 – November 26 | Reception for the artist 2-4, 10/22

The title of Ernest Jolly’s new work Safe as Houses comes from a British phrase that references the safest investment of all: a home mortgage. Not.

The gallery space is completely filled with soft sculpture houses that are propped up on wooden stilts ranging between eight to fifteen feet off the ground. Tethered from the ceiling and hanging low to the ground among the posts are punching bags- a recurring theme in Jolly’s work- that represent everyday people trying to navigate through the upended neighborhood.

Five miles as the crow flies is the real thing- West Oakland in turmoil again as ubiquitous housing developments pop up near the haunted derelict train station. Past neighborhood travesties include eminent domain freeway construction which tore out block after block of housing in the 50s, 60s and 70s, and then collapsed in the ’89 quake. Now as San Francisco bursts at the seams and people looking for “affordable” housing close to BART leapfrog across the bay, longtime residents are losing their leases to new, wealthier tenants, and the homeless population along the Wood Street train tracks burgeons in their own soft houses. Safe as Houses is high up off the ground, just as inaccessible as the new housing is to the long time West Oakland residents.

Ernest Jolly’s art practice is primarily installation work, with a design/build emphasis. He is inspired by the performance and participatory aspects of installation, the way a piece comes to life when the viewer literally walks through it. He often collaborates with musicians and dancers who become part of the piece while practicing their own art. He is influenced by his professional work in museums as a preparator, and by his volunteer roles for civic arts institutions that often commission public art. Martin Puryear is a strong influence on his work.

Ernest Jolly addresses the overlapping social, spatial, and technological systems affecting the industrial city and nature through time, projecting a critical and aspirational view of potential futures. He creates dynamic environments through sculptural forms, video/sound installation, and collaboration with performers. Ernest received his BFA from San Francisco State University, and his MFA from Mills College. Originally from Cleveland, Jolly lives and works in Oakland.

--September 2016--

Whale Watching runs from September 10th to October 16th, with an artist reception on Saturday, September 17th, from 4 – 6 p.m.

Jessica Cadkin’s installation, Whale Watching, is made up of two life-size baby whales, constructed using ripstop and felt fabric. A key element to her installation is that it possesses a “life cycle.” Fans set on timers fill the sculptures with air, lifting them up from the floor as if rising from the ocean. When the timers switch off, the pieces gradually deflate. Although the animated whales are whimsical, they also possess a haunting quality. Whale Watching is informed by a 2009 news report of a juvenile grey whale that died, its carcass trapped under a pier in San Francisco.

Cadkin is deeply influenced by the natural world and the intersection of its seemingly contradictory elements: the borderline where land and water meet; or the chaotic yet perfectly synchronized movements of a flock of birds in flight. Abstracting already abstracted shapes and forms, Cadkin creates pieces that are freed from their geographical, biological, and botanical references, pointing towards the otherworldly qualities nature often reveals about itself.

Cadkin was born in Phoenix, Arizona, and grew up in Napa, California. She received a BA in sculpture and painting from San Francisco State University. Her work has appeared in several group shows at spaces throughout Northern California including Headlands Center for the Arts, Southern Exposure, di Rosa Preserve, Bedford Gallery, Pro Arts Gallery, Gallery Route One, and Berkeley Art Center.

A Stark Project is located in west Berkeley’s Sawtooth Building, 933 Parker Street between 8th and 9th Streets. The gallery is open Saturdays from 12 p.m. – 5 p.m., and Sundays by appointment. 

For questions, please contact Marianna Stark at stark.guide@gmail.com or 415-407-8743

--July 2016--

Announcing the opening of A Stark Project, a new exhibition space dedicated exclusively to installation art, launching July 23, 2016. Installation art is a construction or assemblage usually designed for a specific place and for a temporary period of time.  Since few people have space to display installation art in their private homes, each exhibition will feature a small run of affordable multiples.

Our first installation is by Jan Blythe.  Artists and curators who will show work at A Stark Project in future months include Jessica Cadkin, Ernest Jolly, Natasha Boas, Randy Colosky, Ryan Coffee, Noah Lang, and Modesto Covarrubias.

Themes in Blythe’s work include displacement, disconnection, loss, longing and desire.  In this piece she is emphasizing through repetition of her own hands a gesture of searching, needing and wanting, and most importantly, never giving up no matter what life presents.  The number of hands and their close proximity to each other within the circle represent solidarity.  Hands have been a motif in Blythe’s previous work, but this is the first time she’s using them on a large scale. 

Blythe’s piece, titled Reach, will consist of 100 pairs of life size plaster cast hands reaching upwards from the floor, closely placed together in an 8’ diameter circle.  The hands are cast from a model of the artist’s own hands.  Each pair of hands is available for sale.  The complete piece is available for purchase, price upon request.  See attached image, “study for A Stark Project” courtesy of the artist.

Blythe received her MFA in painting from San Francisco Art Institute in 2008.  There she was strongly influenced by her studies with conceptual artists Paul Kos, Tony Labat and Sharon Grace; painters Amy Ellingson and Frances McCormack; and photographer John Priola.  The artist will be present for the opening reception on Saturday, July 23, from 4-6pm.

Gallery director Marianna Stark is a passionate advocate for visual art in the BayArea.   A Stark Project was inspired by Ernest Jolly’s and Chris Evans’  ArtComplex.   A Stark Project is seeking interns; please email letter of interest and available hours.  For more information on Ms. Stark, go to http://thestarkguide.com/about-stark

A Stark Project is located in West Berkeley’s Sawtooth Building, 933 Parker Street between 8th and 9th Streets.  Open Saturdays 12-5 and Sundays by appointment. 

For questions and additional images contact Marianna Stark stark.guide@gmail.com or 415-407-8743.

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