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.