2006 California Biennial
Orange County Museum of Art
October 2006 – January 2007
The 2006 California Biennial, included artists, working in both Northern and Southern California, showcased over 125 new works by individual artists and collaboratives and presented large-scale installations, sculpture, paintings, works on paper, wall drawing, photographs, film and video art. For almost two years, we conducted numerous studio visits throughout the state focusing on artists whose new works reflect art trends from California, the diverse communities we live in, and the rich and varied cultures we experience. As in previous Biennials, the 2006 artists represented a wide range of cultural backgrounds, geographical locales, and artistic orientations. Their works spanned the gamut from formal discrete objects to those whose work is installation-based, environmental, filmic, or performative. Working alone or collectively, their far-reaching interests and preoccupations were as heterogeneous as their aesthetics and attitudes.
Noticing particular tendencies and themes, we devised the following categories to structure the exhibition and our catalogue essay: Extreme Object Makers: artists who make exquisitely-rendered works that mutate traditional forms and media to create new hybrids. (Jane Callister, Christian Maychack, Joel Morrison, Sterling Ruby) Social Interaction: works that engage viewers to interact in particular social spaces, constructed or identified by the artists, that call attention to popular culture and everyday life. (Sergio De La Torre, Kianga Ford, Kate Pocrass, Mario Ybarra Jr.) Urban Ecologies: art that responds to the natural and built environment, including urban, suburban, and entropic landscapes. (Christopher Ballantyne, Bull.Miletic, Shannon Ebner, Lordy Rodriguez, Leslie Shows, Amir Zaki) Historical and Archival Consciousness: archiving and adapting images and text from the flow of history and contemporary political events. (Walead Beshty, Binh Danh, Martin McMurray, Speculative Archive, Hank Willis Thomas) Fantasy Verité: the resurgent interest in work that draws upon unconscious desire, dream like imagination and absurd humor as a strategy. (Scoli Acosta, Andy Alexander, Brian Fahlstrom, Pearl C. Hsiung, Marie Jager, Shana Lutker, My Barbarian, Nicolau Vergueiro) Appropriated Identities: artists who use themselves as both subject and object to construct personal, social and/or multiple identities. (Ala Ebtekar, Arturo Ernesto Romo, Tim Sullivan, Goody-B. Wiseman)
The 2006 Biennial featured a number of new works created specifically for the exhibition including: site-specific paintings by Jane Callister and Chris Ballantyne that expand the parameters of abstraction and landscape traditions; a new video installation by Marie Jager that uses the Los Angeles cityscape as backdrop for a science fiction narrative; and new sculptural installations by Arturo Ernesto Romo and Christian Maychack that function as architectural parasites in the galleries and public spaces of the museum. Artist residencies included special projects by Scoli Acosta; Jedediah Caesar; My Barbarian, Kate Pocrass, and Mario Ybarra. A full-color exhibition catalogue accompanied the 2006 Biennial.