Christina West Solo Show at Mattress Factory Museum
Ceramics Faculty, Christina West, has a solo, multimedia exhibition up at the Mattress Factory Museum in Pittsburgh, as a part of their Artist-In-Residency show series. “SCREEN” involves a full and colored installation following a trajectory of work that started with “Stage Left” at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville and Hathaway Gallery, Atlanta.
“Over the past 41 years, the Mattress Factory has shown approximately 700 artists, and its staff, over those same decades, has been in constant motion just keeping up: dismantling, reconstructing, and altering the patchwork of spaces in an unrelenting collaboration between institution and artist. This current exhibit had demanded no less rigor, and the artists selected and shown here, with their exciting and insightful bodies of work, extend and compliment the Mattress Factory’s historical oeuvre, presenting both critical and presentational challenges for those of us tasked with the exhibition…
…Christina A. West’s installation Screen, positions scale-shifted, life-like representations of the body among altered and repeated architectural facades, mirrors, and delayed ‘real-time’ video elements. Her approach has bodies in space integrated with the gallery as focal points, externalized emotive-objects-as-artifice to engage introspection. The green-screen theatrical setting and the subtle gestures of the figures combine to conjure a disorienting, mutable space for self-analysis.”
About West’s installation work from her artist statement:
“All of my work begins with an interest in interiority—the thoughts, feelings, psychology within our bodies—often highlighting the inherent mystery, or inaccessibility, of interiority. My installations consist of multiple sculptural figures placed together in a gallery space, with the color of the figures, the altered coloration of the space, and, sometimes, the direction of the figures’ gazes suggesting relationships among the figures. The hints of narrative among the figures are open-ended and ambiguous, with emphasis placed on the uncanny experience of encountering these smaller or larger-than-life bodies that are at once familiar and strangely other. I begin with questions about the relationship of the exterior to the interior, the limits of what we can know about other people given that we never have direct access to their interiority, and how our physical encounters with representations of bodies can affect perceptions of our selves. The resulting figures pull us into their fictional realities with a high degree of naturalism and notions of the private made public, while simultaneously pushing us away (or creating a psychological distance) with their unrealistic scales and unnatural colors that assert their object-ness.”