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contained both the past and future and somehow implied the stars
June 20, 2019 – August 4, 2019
Ginger Wolfe-Suarez began working with textiles two years ago while living in Ojai, California. She and her family left Ojai after the Thomas Fire, one of the worst wildfires in the history of California. After being under mandatory evacuation, they returned to find many of their belongings were doused in ash and had smoke damage. The smoke had specifically affected the clothing, bedding, and upholstery, and her current artwork, which was comprised of delicate textiles.
When so much is lost, what is left to pass on to the next generation? This installation is the creation of Wolfe-Suarez; this is her concept, her play of light, shadow, volume, however the construction of this work was very much a family affair. This work is made as a mother for and about her family. This space, a hundred-plus-year coal chute, swings between an illusory and an authentically concrete space. It’s harsh, a fossil of when this combustible space sweltered and sweated trying to keep the fire contained. With its heavy and cool surfaces, the world echoes differently down here, tracing the architectural contours room everything feels safer. Wolfe-Suarez has carved out a world down here, not trying to control it, but activating the space by letting a little bit of sun through.
The title of the exhibition: “contained both the past and future and somehow implied the stars”, a quote from Argentinian short-story essayist and poet Jorge Luis Borges, who was said to use a universal language, with no spiritual homeland. Her work Here we are. Coming together, 2019, invites us to cross the threshold of an arch, a symbolic passageway for those with a pioneer’s spirit. Wolfe-Suarez traversed the country, went west for opportunity, many years later she returned. Her art and her life took on a new portability. The archway is light and inviting, however the bottom of the rainbow is anchored by concrete blocks, cast from moving boxes. Those boxes previously transported clothing from her family, damaged by smoke. The clothes are now a material to create art, to memorialize something left behind, to create a future memory, a new family heirloom.
Ginger Wolfe-Suarez is an artist, writer, and curator who has worked out of Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay Area, and Atlanta. Her practice includes installation, sculpture, drawings, and artist books. She has been featured in exhibitions in Paris, Berlin, Vienna, and throughout the United States, at venues including Silverman Gallery, Luckman Fine Arts Complex, Southern Exposure, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, BAMPFA), and High Desert Test Sites. Her work has been reviewed in Artforum, the Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Sculpture, and Art Practical, among other publications.