Tramaine de Senna: Double Consciousness / Ancestor Worship: a solo exhibition of new work since returning from Belgium earlier this year.*
In the end, work is a representation of all the processes which emerge during the creative process: the questions, doubts, and ideas.
Where there is decay and the end of times, so too comes the new and beginning. Bricks and bones from our neighbors and grandparents' fall away, macerated and reincarnated as glass and steel temples of high techies. Where does dust, or kipple - in reverence to Philip K. Dick's Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? - go in our vision of the future? And, who cleans it up? Where do they come from and where do they live? Dust, in Dick's vision, symbolizes "entropic ruin" which de Senna also views as apathy - culled from our culture of distraction, where minds and bodies seek a Benjamin-esque harmony with technology.
"In order to move further down the narrow path of the present, modernity shed all that seemed too heavy, too loaded with meaning, mimesis, traditional criteria of mastery... Modern reductionism is a strategy for surviving the difficult journey through the present." Could Boris Groys' "modern reductionism" be this dust, this kipple of our progenitors and their sheddings (of depression, war, or immigration) into a modern life?
The sanding, puttying, and painting within the creative process, brings forth an aesthetic, formed and stuccoed to create de Senna's mythic landscape.
* * * "By then, naturally, he himself would be dead, another interesting event to anticipate as he stood here in his stricken living room alone with the lungless, all penetrating, masterful world-silence [...] Better, perhaps, to turn the TV back on."
* * *
Dick, Philip K. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? The Random House Publishing Group, 1968. Print. P. 20.
Benjamin, Walter. The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction. Schocken Books, 1969. Print.
Groys, Boris. Comrades of Time. e-flux journal #11, Dec. 2009. PDF. p. 2.
Dick, op. cit., p. 20 - 21.
*Tramaine de Senna, a Bay Area native artist practicing between Belgium and the US, earned a BA in Architecture and one in Art from the University of California at Berkeley in 2004. In 2013, she completed an MFA from Sint Joost, the Netherland's oldest art school. Last year, Tramaine completed Belgium's leading two-year postgraduate program at the Hoger Instituut voor Schone Kunsten (HISK) in Ghent.
"The works themselves appear as projects, informed by a reflective space and coming forth from that, then morphing into what [Tramaine calls] 'the construction of appearances,' and finding their form. [...] It was when I tried to figure out how [Tramaine's] overall practice is acting in the world, that I started to reflect on the relation there has been for so long between visual art and a critical stance to architecture/ urbanism [...] It might be that [Tramaine is] somehow complementing architecture... an architect in art space, a critique of architecture, or a true architect as opposed to the production that is considered to be architecture nowadays."
-- Bart De Baere, Director of the Museum of Contemporary Art (M HKA), Antwerp, Belgium