Design Matters presents The Object is Null by Kimberly Hahn.

Opening Reception Saturday, Nov. 2, 7-10 PM

The Object is Null by Kimberly Hahn
Opening Reception: Saturday November 2, 7-10 pm

Design Matters is proud to present “The Object is Null,” an exhibition by Kimberly Hahn. Hahn is an abstract conceptual artist currently residing in Santa Barbara, California.

The Object is Null is comprised of reproductions in sculptural and photographic form of an object that is not present in the exhibition. Each work is entitled Null Reference with a subtitle, which references the new forms and objects that come from the divergence of initial inspiration and reproductive sharing.  The origins of Null Reference stem from the globalized, technological world we live in today, referring to computer programming language in which NullReferenceExceptions are thrown when one tries to access a reference variable that isn’t referencing any object – hence, it is null.

The Object is Null analyzes the inherent illusions of photography; photography’s subtle alteration of reality and its consequential “gloss of remove”. Each of Hahn’s reproductions is an imperfect one, modified from the missing object by materials, size, color shifted to greyscale, shadow, and dimensionality.  From early sculptural and photographic reproduction, to our penchant in a global marketplace to manufacture objects to be sold from photos of objects sourced online, the Null References own their imperfections, comment on our tendency to organize like things together, and become convincing stand-ins for the object referenced – so much so that they are considered the object themselves.

Kimberly Hahn’s work is inspired by a three year period of her life in which she had deteriorated eyesight. She learned to view the world through light, color, and shapes. This abstract view of the world led her to create works with strong photographic foundations and specific color palettes. She encourages a murky lack of distinction between mediums in her work, leaving an ambiguity to be explored. The beauty of these works draws the viewer in, but the vagueness is what causes the viewer to analyze and explore.

The opening reception takes place Saturday, November 2, 2013 at Design Matters Gallery. The reception is open to the public, and the exhibition will be on view through November 30th.

Curated by Bianca Collins. Contact for press inquiries.
Our mailing address is:11527 West Pico Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90064
Gallery Hours: Wednesday-Friday 11-6, Saturday 1-5 and by appointment

Reversal Installation

Kimberly Hahn, Reversal, detail, 2013, Seamless backdrop, curtain rod & holders, hinges, screws, serigraphic photo emulsion, silkscreen, wood, Dimensions Variable

Reversal explores spatial and conventional expectations, process, product, and a photograph’s relationship to time, collapsing many of these subjects into themselves.  The installation portrays a mock photo shoot, as if in a photographer’s studio, in which two sculptures, comprised of hinged, upright, serigraphy screens with backing boards, are placed on black, seamless backdrops in mirror reflection of each other.  Instead of conventional framed photographic presentation, the positive photographic images are seen in exposed light sensitive emulsion layers on the faux serigraphy screens.  The resultant emulsion border evokes memories of a sloppy photographic border, a vestige of analogue photography, seen now most often applied by modifications made in apps and photography manipulation programs.  In this case, however, a digital image was used and the analogue serigraphic process added the evocative border.  As the serigraphic printing frame and screen become replacements for traditional frame and mat, their function shifts from that of process to final product. This shift in purpose is also viewable in the image embedded in the emulsion, which is seen in positive (reversal) form, whereas in serigraphy, a negative of the image would normally be visible on the screen allowing, when printed, the ink to create a positive on another surface or object.

The shadows of the sculptures on the seamless become as integral a part of the piece as the images on the screens. The transparent substrate of the screen allows the photographic images’ shadows to fall onto the backdrop paper below. In contrast to a photograph, which claims to freeze moments in time, here, as the shadow shifts with the moving daylight, the photograph is creating fractional shifts in moments instead of capturing them. The black edges of the serigraphic frame blend into the backdrop, causing the seamless to become a disruptive object in the installation that no longer serves as a voiceless, neutral base generally intended to highlight a sculpture as end product, separate from its surroundings.

The work wrestles with the control over the artist that process normally has and reverses that dynamic by curtailing and thus turning these processes into a product.  Reversal demonstrates ambiguities of the photographic medium, its application, and its processes, while simultaneously displaying it as an end result.

Exhibition on view: March 20-May 25, 2013
Saturday, March 23, 5-7 pm

Left Coast Gallery
5877 Hollister Avenue
Goleta, CA

Unidentified Fotographed Objects Series (UFOs)

These images explore photographing objects in great detail and the abstract.  Objects’ components can serve a purpose, in addition to the overall use of the object.  Their subtle subtexts are often overlooked and yet felt unknowingly by the user.  Using color; translucency; material; shape; or texture, the object makers convey a desired experience by their choices.  The detailed approach renders the objects unidentifiable.  The “Ph” in Photographed was changed to an “F”, so that the title of the series plays with the idea of UFOs.  The objects could be things we may not recognize, but may be aspects of our everyday humdrum world.  In addition, the title seeks to convey that these objects could also be unknown or foreign to us.  Through this means of depiction, we experience them first as their essence.  Should we ever find these objects in real life we could build a picture of them from the inside out.

Unidentified Fotographed Objects Series 1


Blue Looking Glass Series

These photographs were taken using a blue walled children’s viewing toy.  The shape of the “Blue Looking Glass”  informs each of the images by creating a border of varying hues around the central circular viewing space.  Intimate, interior spaces were photographed through this man-made funnel to give a picture of how safe places could look through altered sight – a possibly tenuous defect for humans. (Though not necessarily for other creatures, who are equipped to see the world differently.)  Some of the photographs mimic a Cubist approach to fracturing space, though the color palette of the Blue Looking Glass series is more rich, varied, and inviting.

Blue Looking Glass

Blue Looking Glass Series

Underneath the Sheets series

The Underneath the Sheets series was inspired by the premise of a Westmont College Reynolds Gallery exhibition entitled Interior Spaces.  The photographs explore a space that is typically overlooked: those small slow moments of light and color that filter through the sheets.  Sheets were moved and lit, but no other visual devices were used to distort their documentation.  A decision was made to make the images melt by keeping them out of focus. Without glasses or contacts, this is how I see those little spaces – blurs of light and color that are soft, warm and seductive.   This unfocused treatment references the way this space is inhabited and viewed by humans regardless of their visual acuity: in sleep, dream, or drugged seduction.  Only two shots include skin in them, however, some of the shapes emulate body parts, which adds another clue to the subject of this series.

Underneath the Sheets Series