David B. Smith “Seeing Backwards”


poster for David B. Smith “Seeing Backwards”

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For his solo exhibition at Calico, David B. Smith revisits a collection of 60s and 70s pop-culture metal lunch boxes he inherited from his father and has used in performances, sculptures, photographs, and videos over the last 10 years. Through playful formal and metaphorical engagement with these objects, the artist has explored themes of inheritance, identity, transformation, commodity, collecting, desire, and loss. This exhibition is the final step in a process of digestion and exorcism, and expresses a letting go of the boxes through creating new fabric-based objects from their images, then sanding away the paint from the boxes themselves.

Smith has created new works for this show through a process of rebirth - a systematic yet subjective program of using photographs of the original lunch boxes to make semi-abstract, hallucinatory, kaleidoscopic, digitally-woven tapestries. The artist then manipulated the tapestries into collages, wall-hanging objects, and floor sculptures. Each step in the process of making the new objects is an intentional mis-remembering of the last step, therefore the memory is warped and altered beyond recognition to make something more like a nightmare or dream than a rational memory.

This new work is also an engagement with the complexity of inheritance. “It lays bare the process of accepting meaning in certain ways while making new meanings for myself. It pushes this process into a public space to illustrate the human and organic activity of appropriation, influence, digestion, and expulsion. I want people to share this feeling with me - to gain an insight into what this process looks like - and to create a space for them to meditate on their own related experiences.”



from June 18, 2015 to July 25, 2015

Opening Reception on 2015-06-19 from 19:00 to 21:00


David B. Smith

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