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Lyrics, Gestures and Games

Kala Gallery is proud to present Lyrics, Gestures and Games, exploring interplay among art-making, chance related process, and guidelines generated by everyday activities and gestures. This exhibition features works by acclaimed Bay Area ceramic artist Jim Melchert, Bay Area/NY/Tokyo based artist Midori Harima, along with Bay Area poet, Lyn Hejinian, combining visual elements, music performances, and a poetry reading. Lyrics, Gestures and Games highlights abstraction and sublimation of mundane elements, playfulness and open interpretation, exploring something essential stemming from the everyday and relating to our larger social hierarchy and systems.

Opening reception will be on May 11, 6-8pm. The exhibition includes music/poetry reading performances on Friday July 7, 8pm and Saturday July 8, 2pm. Bay Area composer/pianist Motoko Honda will perform pieces responding to the artwork in the exhibition in collaboration with Lyn Hejinian’s poetry reading. Tickets available on Eventbrite.

Lyrics, Gestures and Games  is supported, in part, by the Phyllis C. Wattis Foundation.

Jim Melchert has been described as “a maverick who disregards many of the canons that define disciplines.” Known for his conceptual process of making art, he works with tiles in an innovative and playful way – ­breaking them, drawing on them, re­assembling them, and then painting the constructions with glazes. Melchert is an Emeritus professor of art at University of California, Berkeley and also a former Director of Visual Arts at the National Endowment for the Arts and the American Academy in Rome. His work has been exhibited nationally and internationally at venues including the Whitney Museum in New York; Museums of Contemporary Art in Chicago, Houston, and Los Angeles; Museums of Modern Art in San Francisco, Tokyo, and Kyoto; Documenta 5 in Kassel, Germany, and many more.

Midori Harima will present a new project Democracy Demonstrates. Harima collected each day’s trash over the course of a year and assembled it into a daily sculpture, which then she documented with a camera. This project marks Harima’s daily life and tracks observation of consumption patterns. Questioning the gap between the idea of democracy and the reality we live in, Harima generates her own democratic system to create her artwork. Harima’s work has been exhibited widely in U.S and Japan, including Deitch Studios, Honey Space, Kanagawa Prefectural Gallery, National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Goyang, Korea, The Maiden Lane Exhibition Space, Kevin Bruk Gallery, Yerba Buena Center for The Arts, and Washington University.

Lyn Hejinian’s poetry inspires unique lyricism created by repetition of descriptive everyday moments. Her renowned work My Life is composed of titled proses, each built of disjunctive sentences. Many of these sentences reflect on simple, day-to-day activities. Phrases recur and create motifs throughout, opening new meanings to the readers through repetition. Hejinian is a poet, essayist, educator, and translator. Her most recent book is The Unfollowing (Omnidawn Books, 2016). Other volumes include The Book of a Thousand Eyes (Omnidawn Books, 2012) and The Wide Road, written in collaboration with Carla Harryman (Belladonna, 2010). Her honors include a Writing Fellowship from the California Arts Council, a grant from the Poetry Fund, and a Translation Fellowship from the National Endowment of the Arts. Hejinian currently teaches at the University of California, Berkeley.

Motoko Honda is a pianist, composer, and sound artist who creates a distinctive sound through her holistic approach to music and connection to other art forms and technologies. With stylistic influences ranging from jazz to Indonesian music to contemporary prepared piano, Honda’s structured improvisations are intended to affect the skin, organs and minds of the listener rather than simple recitations of rhythmic and harmonic themes. Since 1997, Honda has been performing at various national and international festivals and concerts such as Angel City Jazz Festival, 19th San Quirico Estate Festival, and Spark International Electronic Music Festival ranging from classical, contemporary jazz, experimental and electronic music.