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CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts opens solo shows of work by Melanie Gilligan and Yuki Kimura
Yuki Kimura, Division and Revision #2, 2016; two c-prints on aluminum composite; 180 x 120 cm each; courtesy the artist and Taka Ishii Gallery, Tokyo.

SAN FRANCISCO, CA.- Continuing to introduce international figures to Bay Area audiences and give artists a platform to explore new directions in their work, CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts presents the west coast debut of Parts-wholes (2016), a new multichannel video installation by Canadian artist Melanie Gilligan; and Inhuman Transformation of New Year’s Decoration, Obsolete Conception or 2 (2016), a commissioned mixed-media installation by Japanese artist Yuki Kimura. The two concurrent solo exhibitions are free and open to the public and are on view December 13, 2016, through February 25, 2017.

Yuki Kimura The installation practice of Yuki Kimura (b. 1971 in Kyoto; based in Berlin) borrows from architecture, design, photography, and sculpture to make the immaterial material. She often incorporates found photographs in her work as sculptural objects, combining appropriated imagery with other found and constructed objects or furniture to create mixed-media sculptures.

For Kimura’s Wattis Institute show, Yuki Kimura: Inhuman Transformation of New Year’s Decoration, Obsolete Conception or 2—the artist’s first commissioned solo exhibition at a US institution— she produced several new works that reflect on doubling and repetition, which also continue her interest in photography’s objecthood and connection to time. The exhibition is co-curated by Wattis Institute associate curator Leila Grothe and head of publications Jeanne Gerrity and includes an exhibition brochure featuring an original essay.

The largest sculptural work in the exhibition, Table Stella (2016), comprises pairs of tables in three different sizes with a version of the same found photograph printed on the surface of each tabletop. The appropriated image depicts a room interior that’s murky and unidentifiable, although in it a mirror reflecting a window can be seen resting against a wall. Placed on the tables are ashtrays that, like the use of analogue photography in Kimura’s visual vocabulary, suggest obsolescence—markers of a recent yet bygone era rendered unnecessary by e-cigarettes or simply no longer in fashion. On the glossy, black surface of another table is a collection of Jägermeister liquor bottles in different sizes that allude to Kimura’s interest in western philosophical concepts of multiplicity.

Other exhibition elements include pairs of wall-mounted images—found photographs that have been digitized and reprinted on a large scale—and dual mirrors that further the doubling effects and reflect other works in the gallery and its visitors. The twin images reference a traditional Japanese New Year's decoration that symbolizes the idea of a mirror as well as the conflation of past and present.

Kimura graduated from Kyoto City University of Arts in 1996. She has had solo exhibitions at venues including the Izu Photo Museum, Japan (2010), and Daiwa Press Viewing Room, Japan (2009). She has also participated in numerous group exhibitions worldwide, including Ocean of images: New Photography, Museum of Modern Art, New York (2015); the 30th São Paulo Biennial (2012); Better Homes, SculptureCenter, New York (2013); and The 4th Daegu Photo Biennale, Daegu (2012).

Melanie Gilligan Melanie Gilligan (b. 1979 in Toronto; based in London and New York) works across film, performance, writing, and installation. She is best known for low-budget video series such as Popular Unrest (2010), a near-future sci-fi drama and film installation that merges distinctions between documentary television, gallery exhibition, and theater. Recent works include The Common Sense (2014), an ongoing video series that, like much of her work, draws on the format of television episodes to reflect on the human impact of contemporary media, technology, and political economies. Most of her videos are available online, free of charge.

Gilligan’s vision of the future is speculative, dystopian, and often indistinguishable from the present, where bodies are merged with “big data.” Life under late capitalism is the primary condition examined in Gilligan’s narratives, and she displays her work in environments that address concepts of immersion and community in both content and physical structure.

Her Wattis Institute exhibition includes two components: the first—Parts-wholes (2016)—sheds the fictional narrative backbone found in much of the artist’s past work and, for the first time, composes the portraits of two real individuals (rather than fictional characters). Shown across multiple monitors in a dense cluster of moving images, the video features fragmented representations of people as they navigate a normal day. Via everyday situations, an impression emerges that reveals the effects of social, economic, technological, and political forces on daily lives.

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CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts opens solo shows of work by Melanie Gilligan and Yuki Kimura

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