Et al. presents:
September 13 – October 26, 2019
Opening Reception: Friday, September 13, 6-9pm
Et al. etc. (Mission)
Et al. etc. presents the work of artist Nicki Green in a solo exhibition of sculptures made while in residence at the John Michael Kohler Art Center in Kohler, WI during the winter of 2019. These large ceramic and mixed media objects straddle the line between functional and ornamental and depict a density of surface information spanning Green’s interests of queer and trans history, mycology as a stand-in for queerness, Jewish mythology and alchemical practice.
Lately, I’ve been really fascinated by ritual objects and particularly various water rituals, so a lot of what I was investigating at Kohler was washing rituals and appliances built for cleansing. While I was there, I kept thinking about white glaze as this striving towards purity. I was reading “Queering Bathrooms” by Sheila Cavenaugh who discusses white glaze showing grime as this analogy to queerness, the glaze is like straightness and normativity, this yearning for order, cleanliness and uniformity, but in its’ quest, reveals it’s innate inability to be totally any one thing; clean, tidy, straight, normal, etc.
While making these pieces, I thought of them as Frankensteined Kohler product; I used mostly waste materials (like literally digging through the “cull” or waste bins for wet, failed product to cut up and reassemble) to make washing/ablution ritual objects that affirm the queer body rather than attempt to exclude, organize, label, make visible in the way these bathroom appliances so often do. I considered what it means for objects to fail, my queer self in that space (queer, as in how I stuck out in the factory as trans, from out of town, Jewish, etc.) was already, in a sense, failure, so what happens if I let the objects I was making fail as well? This letting go of perfection, uniformity, normativity opened up an expansiveness not normally possible in a production factory setting.
NICKI GREEN is a transdisciplinary artist working primarily in clay. Originally from New England, she completed her BFA in sculpture from the San Francisco Art Institute in 2009 and her MFA in Art Practice from the University of California, Berkeley in 2018. Her sculptures, ritual objects and various flat works explore topics of history preservation, conceptual ornamentation and aesthetics of otherness. Green has exhibited her work internationally, notably at the New Museum, New York; The Contemporary Jewish Museum, San Francisco; Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco; Rockelmann & Partner Gallery, Berlin, Germany; [ 2nd floor projects ], San Francisco. She has contributed texts to numerous publications including a recent piece in Duke University Press’ Transgender Studies Quarterly and a piece in Fermenting Feminism, Copenhagen. In 2019, Green was a finalist for the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art’s SECA Award. She is also the recipient of a 2018 Graduate Fellowship from Headlands Center for the Arts, and of a 2019 Arts/Industry Residency from the John Michael Kohler Center for the Arts, among other awards. Green lives and works in the San Francisco Bay Area.