Amidst the Ruins

New Work by Val Britton, Michael Damm and Zachary Royer Scholz
Curated by Taro Hattori

Mission 17 (www.mission17.org)
2111 Mission Street
Suite 401
San Francisco 94110
415.861.3144
info@mission17.org

Opening Reception: Friday, March 14, 2008. 6pm – 9pm
Val Britton
MISSION 17 presents Amidst the Ruins, an exhibition of new works by Val Britton, Michael Damm and Zachary Royer Scholz, which explore how destruction provokes artists’ creativity. What motivates us to disassemble or destroy things? Why is it pleasurable to deface? How does violence transform our relationships to objects? And what does it reveal about their mechanisms and meanings? Works by these three artists ruin the surfaces of objects to thematize the contexts in which they appear, and to turn them towards new ends.

Val Britton creates immersive collages with large sheets of slashed paper that approximate and, in the process, reinvent the language of maps. She overwhelms the surfaces of the paper with the violence of her cutting and pasting, and the ensuing tears spill out of the sheets to produce objects that occupy a liminal space between two and three dimensions. The results are maps drawn with blades, but they depict the performance of their own production and the impulses that informed them, rather than any merely objective terrain.

Michael Damm’s photographs and videos present amalgams of desolate imagery, which are both documentary and psychological. He finds the seeds of his work from devastation and decay in urban environments, and his discoveries evoke mnemonic associations that resonate with unanticipated meaning

Michael Damm

And Zachary Royer Scholz tears up and reconstructs pieces of furniture and elements of architecture. In the process he finds new significance in them and reveals a shifting flow of meanings beneath the otherwise statically defined frameworks of our involvements.

The figures of destruction produced by these artists imply and explore our situation between birth and death, and presents these poles not merely as opposites, but rather as convolutedly twined and mutually integral to processes of creation.

Zachary Royer Scholz

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