Megan Wilson
S.F. Bay Guardian, 'Stirred Not Shaken' by Glen Helfand, March 19, 1997

Stirred Not Shaken

Though its title may pique the interest of cocktail nationals and wanna-be Bond girls, this expansive group show of 21 artists from northern and southern California engages in a free range of subjects. The tone of the show, however, as curated by artist Permi K. Gill, is consistently bracing - most pieces are cool, conceptual, and monochromatic. Gay Outlaw contributes a frosty Chalk Cone, while a nearby white wall is pregnant with dozens of little Nipples, a piece by Caroline Clerc. It's a dotty pop image with organic overtones, not unlike Robert Ortbal's curious Ancient Discourse, a pair of sand dollars that have been sunk flush with the wall. There are some intriguing serial works, such as Chris Komater's photographs of circular orfices and strange sprouts of body hair, Megan Wilson's creepy compilation of beauty-mask residue. The banality of domestic and industrial architecture is explored in minimalist-tinged pieces by Hugh Pocock, Castañeda/Reiman, and Paul Bridenbaugh. The show's double-edged nature comes across best, however, in Cirilo Domine's Bano Banderas, a series of lacy cutouts make from vellum-like toilet-seat covers. The objects are meant to provide public protection, but the artist has managed to create some very attractive hole in the system.