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With her show Interstitial, Chloe Jeongmyo Kim has transformed the Proxy Gallery into a kind of theater, in which the internal struggle of an immigrant artist grappling with unfamiliar visual landscapes is played out in three dimensions. The work centers on her feelings of disorientation and her aversion to certain colors and types of architecture she has encountered in her travels through the U.S. She represents this offensive visual blandness with a reference to butter, which symbolizes the pervasive, suffocating monotony of strip malls and sun-drenched stucco. Kim invites disorder rather than resolving it, allowing the space of the gallery to retain the tension of being in between. 

As her first experiment with installation, Kim’s "Interstitial" uses the unique space of the Proxy to stage the pressure and chaos of making a space your own, and of inserting yourself into a space. Using layers of painted plexiglass shards stacked against a backdrop of torn creme-colored paper, she breaks apart the landscape in order to reassemble it in a more accommodating manner. 

For Kim, the portrayal of space is as much internal as external. “The idea of the space that I represent can never be experienced through Google Maps, Google search, web images, or Instagram. It is from my real transient experience,” Kim said.


Chloe Jeongmyo Kim

MARCH 1-31, 2018
Guest curator: Matt Hollis, curatorial intern

Safe House uses real objects and representations to signify the female womb as a place of safety and

protection. The most prominent feature is a relatively large vagina, carved out of clear acrylic and standing “in your face”. It is placed in the front Plexiglas “wall” of the Proxy gallery, blocking the entrance and preventing us from ignoring it as we look further inside. The front of the gallery is framed by a computer “Motherboard,” expressing, according to Dickson, the mediation of the digital in our interaction with the real world.

​The box of Proxy Gallery stands for the uterus, the “only safe and secure place for a person,” says Dickson. Inside the “uterus” is a fetus also carved out of colorless clear acrylic. The “walls” are covered in colorful photographs depicting body organs and internal tissue, while the “floor” is strewn with colorful candy and lollipops. An oval mirror placed behind the “fetus” allows us a view of its back, museum vitrine style, but also harkens to psychological theories of mirroring between mother and child, including the viewer as we peer inside. The absence of color in the vagina and fetus and the presence of color in the internal organs and candy, gives the installation a sweet and also sinister association, given the marked police violence that is especially experienced by black people who quite definitely do not feel safe in this society.

An autodidact artist and inventor, Dickson pays attention to dreams and premonitions. This piece came to him in a dream that not only visualized the work, but also told him “not to worry about it.” Unlike the rest of his practice, which consists of a lot of representations of whole bodies, here the installation isolates the womb and the mother’s vagina as a way of honoring the ancestor.

Charles Dickson

APRIL 1-30, 2018
Opening Reception: Sun, April 22, 2-5pm

Due to its size and scale, Proxy Gallery has the capacity to both monumentalize and miniaturize its exhibits. Armor, the installation by Xochi Maberry-Gaulke, emerging in her first post-MFA solo exhibition, uses the gallery/container to explore the self through the body, and more specifically, the relationship of her own body to another/her mother.

 The three “walls” of the gallery are covered in kaleidoscopic tiled photographs of skin and pubic hair pulled by fingers to reveal, it turns out, her mother’s now-healed Cesarean birth scar out of which was born Xochi Maberry-Gaulke. In the center of the gallery stands a small/large “pedestal” also covered in photos of pubic hair bearing a small tuft of actual yellow hair. This hair is the only non-photographic, non-metonymic, almost forensic evidence of the body of the artist herself. 

Maberry-Gaulke is interested in emotional lineage and literal lineage; in the intergenerational, especially matrilineal, aspects of the formation of the self. She considers the body to be a grounding strategy; here, however, the “body” as subject matter serves as a shortcut: its organic materiality is necessarily presented in discursiveform: photographically, metonymically, sculpturally, and linguistically. These codes engage in a constant dialogue without a final punchline.​

Xochi Maberry-Gaulke

MAY 1 - 31, 2018

“I crossed the border without papers, but in high heels:” The Spanish title of de la Torre’s solo exhibition starts with an “I” that is spoken by the artist’s mother. “How we came to the United States” is both mythical lore and a real story that is passed down through the generations of immigrants. 

The drawing that dominates the exhibition comes out of this narrative. Teresita de la Torre drew a red platform wedge sandal that her mother described to her as she narrated how she wanted to look feminine and attractive before meeting her husband on “the other side.” 

 The actual shoes have fallen apart long ago, so the artfully “naif” line drawing becomes the diagrammatic method to describe that sandal and show its different parts, without explaining its significance. There is a plan drawing in red pencil of the shoe sole with four intersecting red straps, and an elevation view of the ankle strap and clasp (magnified as a detail) as well as a wedge heel drawn separately.  

 As if to instruct a shoe maker or to mimic forensic sketch artists who draw from the words of a witness, the drawing also contains hand-written linguistic descriptions-instructions in Spanish: “This is where it attaches” or “four straps, 1, 2, 3, 4.” 

Through its form, the drawing also performsa transmission of memory and history, an attempt to condense identity into a singular artwork, a monument to an apparently insignificant object.

Teresita de la Torre

JUNE 15 - JULY 15, 2018
Opening Reception: Tues. June 19, 2-5pm

Tom Knechtel’s handmade book is placed on a small podium in the Proxy Gallery. Inside a handmade folder are loose “pages” separated by glassine sheets, each “page” containing a drawing or painting. The drawings and paintings are almost an inventory of techniques and modes of representation: etching, watercolor, acrylic, woodcut, pencil or ink sketch.

The book is meant to be removed from the gallery and perused while sitting down and wearing white cotton gloves. Thus, the artist seeks a moment of intimacy in the enjoyment as well as the production of this work. The drawings are of objects found upon emptying the house of his deceased parents, whose address is the title of the exhibition. In the back of each drawing or painting is a handwritten “caption” about the object, emphasizing the documentary/archivistic nature of the project, as well as the infusion of emotional “alchemy” into the process: how to turn a thing into something else? how does a thing turn into art?

In this case, the passport-sized book speaks to a distillation but also portability of identity that allows one to carry it geographically across borders but also to carry the past forward into the present and future. The drawings and paintings are one way to come to grips with loss and grief; to acknowledge-without a solution- that art is a multivalent tool by which to navigate complex and also contradictory emotions.

Tom Knechtel

SEPTEMBER 1- 30, 2018

In a gesture that inverts the usual relation between container and content, artist Taylor Tschider is exhibiting the gallery that is supposed to contain his work. He is showing a custom-fabricated box the shape and scale of the Proxy (but rotated 45°) crafted by removing a 1/2” wide, 12” deep cubic trough of dirt from the ground. The void then had to be back-filled with a polyurethane solution, which adhered itself to the dirt walls of the “empty” mold. Thus, an excavationary process took place, where the excess soil surrounding and housed within the interior of the polyurethane was removed.

By way of the methodical nature of its removal, this process articulates a certain anthropological endeavor as a way of “mining” for the finished sculpture. It is a way of implying that the sculpture pre-exists its discovery-thus making the sculpture a found or discovered object. Tschider’s excavation deftly takes on the weighty art historical notion of “the cube” as well as responding to the grand posturing of the earthworks movement of the 70’s. Incorporating natural materials into the process places the work within a geological/historical framework where layers of dirt and rock are the only “true” record of history.

In his recent work, Tschider painstakingly created seemingly “natural” assemblages of sticks and earth out of entirely fabricated materials. Here, the artist has subverted and reversed his own process by placing synthetic material into the dirt and allowing the earthen elements to establish and dictate their own formal language. Employing artificial means to engage with something natural is not only at the core art-making process but speaks to larger issues outside the gallery.

Taylor Tschider

October 1-31, 2018
Reception: Thursday October 25, 6-8 pm at 10455 Jefferson Blvd, Culver City CA 90232.

Symmetry and optics are guiding principles in the shifting, reflective work of Robin Mitchell, but nothing here is exactly as it may seem. “Mirror,” 2018, began as  an original gouache painting on paper which was manipulated using Photoshop to mirror the image horizontally and then vertically. The resulting work has a quality of both the organic and the mechanical. She then made another painting based on this composition. The image is not absolutely symmetrical but is open to the quirks and eccentricities that occur by working by hand. Those paintings became the foundation of a body of paintings that she has been exploring for over ten years. 

​For The Proxy Gallery she chose to revisit the original digitally derived mirrored image and place it in the rear of the box. The “floor”, “ceiling”, and “walls” of the gallery are lined with a highly reflective foil paper. The original “mirrored” image is now reflected again and again endlessly. However, due to the specific properties of the Proxy Gallery, the optical effect may appear infinite in area, but is enclosed in a finite volume which we cannot enter with our bodies but only our eyes.

Robin Mitchell

November 1-30, 2018
Reception: Wednesday November 14, 6-8 pm

The work of Wisconsin artists Shana McCaw and Brent Budsberg explores ruins as common ground upon which the conflicts and tensions linking past and present may quarrel. Old buildings may have crumbled from age, or the ruins may be the result of war, fire or earthquake. 

 The strongly cinematic scale model in Remnants raises the question of ancestral homes (Whose ancestors? What homes? Who are we? Who are they?) and presents an apocalyptic landscape after an unspecified catastrophe. The “sticks”, “bricks” and “beams” of the installation appear burned or water-damaged, and the sand dunes around them give a symbolic, unnatural aura to the work. One could imagine the Proxy Gallery to be a scale model itself, in which case the building would be full-size. The very visible “walls” of the gallery make for a bizarre and surreal, if not familiar, trope in which Culture in Nature is represented as Nature in Culture. The work can be understood in terms of such tensions and formal collisions that remain unresolved rather than neatly concluded.

Shana McCaw and Brent Budsberg

December 1, 2018 to January 30, 2019

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