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Indepth Arts News:

"Mischief : 20 Artists from the Bay Area"
2003-10-30 until 2003-11-29
Lola Gallery Art and Design House
San Francisco, CA, USA United States of America

"Mischief" showcases new artwork by over 20 artists working in a diverse array of media such as fine art, photography, sculpture, video installation and performance art and is officially sponsored by the San Francisco Bay Guardian. “Mischief is an exhibition that celebrates the mischievous attributes of artistic creativity and human behavior and coincides with Halloween, a time of year when high jinks and rascality are given free reign”, says director Claire McGovern. Halloween is a tradition observed by cultures worldwide and historically, ancient peoples of Europe marked the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter by celebrating a holiday in late autumn.

The most important of these holidays to influence later Halloween customs was Samhain, a holiday observed by the Celts. British settlers in the United States successfully transplanted Halloween traditions to southern colonies such as Virginia and Maryland and Irish immigrants in particular helped popularize the occasion throughout America in the mid-19th century. In Irish folklore, small magical beings known as fairies became associated with Halloween mischief and needless to say, the tradition of Halloween pranks and devilry still survives today.

The exhibition “Mischief” opens on October 30th, a date known to many as “Mischief Night”. Works featured seek to parody institutionalized norms and poke fun at social conventions with hilarious results. Making its debut in this show will be the first ever specialized Lola Gallery “audio tour”. Audio tours are generally associated with large-scale museum exhibitions and are an indictment of how the art experience is homogenized, commodified and rendered an entirely artificial process. The Lola Gallery Mischief Audio Tour seeks to reflect upon mass “art consumerism” and our desire to be robotically guided through an experience of the visual arts. It is a not to be missed opportunity to receive an irreverent and highly entertaining parody of the popularity of such a service. Several performance art works will also take place including a sound-based movement by local choreographer Alyssa Wilmot involving duct tape, fans, plastic bags and featuring composer Sharon Cheslow.

The work of mischievous artist Karen Carlo Salinger is an ingenious blend of synthetic materials such as urethanes, silicones and latex. Her flesh toned sculptural “creatures” represent a fascination with medical abnormalities or biological specimens and the artist almost convinces us that we are witness to some strange form of as of yet undiscovered invertebrate.

Early works by esteemed photographer Charles Gatewood will also be on display. Gatewood who has a degree in Anthropology, has been photographing the American underground for over 40 years, published a dozen books and made numerous videos. His early photography was documentary in nature and had a distinct political edge as seen in his first book “Sidetripping”. These images of various scenes from New York and Mardi Gras in New Orleans in the early 1970’s manifest a sardonic and mischievous social commentary on social behavior that was still in a new stage of enlightenment following the upheaval and revolution of the late 60’s. Video installations by Victor Barbieri and fantastic animal head creations by Merikay MacKenna to name but a few will also be on exhibit in this show.

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