Sunday, March 4, 2012

The Project Room at Pasadena Museum of California Art: Nancy Baker Cahill

Pasadena Museum of California Art
From the March 2012 Los Feliz Ledger:

Nancy Baker Cahill’s artworks address the body and its inherent vulnerability. Fascinomas, her multimedia installation now on view in the Project Room at the Pasadena Museum of California Art (PMCA), was inspired, in part, by a look into an electron microscope at specimens kept at the Natural History Museum.

“Medical technology allows you to see things but not necessarily know things,” said Cahill, and that is at the heart of Fascinomas (medical terminology for an unusual case or diagnosis). Using computer animation and sound design, Cahill’s interactive installation flows between six of her paintings, projected through a large opaque scrim.

“I play with scale a little bit, so that your experience as a viewer, you are looking at something referring to something microscopic and yet you are dwarfed by it,” said Cahill. “I really wanted the viewer to be aware of their vulnerability and vulnerability of their own bodies,” she said. To create the paintings, she airbrushed pigment across objects varying from specimens of dried kelp to wire and then removed the debris leaving only telegraphed impressions. The now abstracted images are somewhat unsettling as they transition glacially from one image to the next. Fascinomas is at the Pasadena Museum of California Art, 490 E. Union St., Pasadena, now through May 20th.

Kenny Scharf's Kosmic Krylon Garage at PMCA

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