She’s a Confection

Though a non-descript, signless space, bricked and fortified with bars, she looks soft inside, the toughness dropping away. opened now­—wide by hand—she’s entered into with cautionary eagerness. Inside her arrangement appears fixed as if one mussed her carefully constructed visage it would be righted magically to how it began.


Her bare walls provide room for thoughts to bounce toward and from which to peel away. These thoughts lap down upon desks, huddled together, which rest waiting for a next visitor to shuffle through their laden surfaces, to make them useful once again. On top, books are aligned in columns, in rows, based on size; they defy a wish to see them cast about in decadent disarray. The chlorophylled pepper the décor with verdant and maroon bursts—a bit of nature here to offset a space of production there.  An old-school telephone sits floor-bound, alone and forlorn in the corner. Unconnected, this phone works only in the telling, and this telling becomes its purpose.


Public Fiction, The Foreign Correspondent: Your Man in Los Angeles, 2013

Catalogs, from the Mountain School of Arts collection, await all who enter to behold; a library for loan on loan itself. These treasures of education are laid with edges in line as if trying to bring order to a messy thing called art. Each anticipates a touch with held breath, and sighs as bound sheaves are delicately opened and sifted through with graceful care. One’s eyes lovingly rest upon their pictures, stroking them as if they were exalted originals: a glimpse of cleavage and crotch; a ponderous, weighty formal sculpture; and at another turn a luscious, yet goofy painting. A tome contributed by someone known is read with human personality, and so turns the object(ive) and only to be found within into something to be understood both from context within and without.


A filing cabinet quietly beckons, orchestrated it seems, with a single drawer ajar leaving one to wonder if it’s an invitation to delve or a temptation. Why this drawer and not that drawer; why any drawer left open at all? Why is to make one think why after all. This drawer can’t be closed; it’s defying inclination; it seems as if it would resist altogether—it’s clear now that any closure disrupts a delicate balance here. For she is open, friendly, and embracing, allowing browsing without shyness, and everything she holds hinges on this drawer penetrable in its state of transition.


Public Fiction, Dispatch #1, 2013, comprised of Faits Divers; artwork by Bernard Piffaretti; Charlie white, Subject: Beatrice Davenport Morands, From: Charlie White; Andrew Berardini, Hue: Red, Shade: Maroon, Hex:#8000000, The Standard Book of Color. Courtesy Public Fiction.

Only a table is left disheveled—in process—littered with delectable scraps of paper, with dispatches and flirting inserts emerging from two-hued sheets and staple-bounds all waiting for lips to appreciate. Each, a juicy, montage-style installation of images and words upon pages transforms with this implied momentum from publication to exhibition.  With these in hand, one takes companions, and thus little pieces of her, away.


One goes to suck in her richness and mull over with lolling tongue the sweet approach to experience she offers and in so doing leaves with a palate refreshed by her essence. Coming from within, one turns a last wistful eye towards her for she is that which is warm and inviting: she is Public Fiction.


–Kimberly Hahn


Public Fiction’s current iteration “as an office, exhibition, publication, performance, and residency” runs through April 29. The Foreign Correspondent: Your Man in Los Angeles features Davide Balula, Neil Beloufa, Andrew Berardini, Isabelle Cornaro, Nikki Darling, Travis Diehl, Eve Fowler, Hedi El Kholti, Jonathan Lethem, Sarah Lehrer-Graiwer, Camille Henrot, Nicolas Garait, Rita Gonzalez, Veronica Gonzalez Pena, Brian Kennon, Joseph Mosconi, Aude Pariset, Bernard Piffaretti, Tif Sigfrids, Ivette Soler, Charlie White” and more.  The office, located at 749 Avenue 50 in Los Angeles, “will be open Thursdays and Fridays from 10am to 5pm, by appointment, and other unpredictable hours” and is punctuated by weekend performances, with the final, highly anticipated happening scheduled for this Saturday 04.27 & Sunday 04.28 at 7pm.  “Co-edited with Andrew Berardini,” weekly dispatches may be received when you sign up for Public Fiction’s e-newsletter.


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

Chromatic Variation 1 Installation by Kimberly Hahn

My new installation Chromatic Variation 1 is now on view in the Limuw: An Ode to the Sea exhibition at CAF Satellite @ Hotel Indigo Santa Barbara.

KimberlyHahn ChromaticVariation 1

Kimberly Hahn, Chromatic Variation 1 (Detail), 2013, Site-specific installation at CAF Satellite @ Hotel Indigo Santa Barbara comprised of fabric dye, dowel rods, muslin, monofiliament, paint, plywood, and salt, Dimensions Variable (Installation approximately 98-1/2 x 108 x 72 in.), Commissioned by Santa Barbara Contemporary Arts Forum, Courtesy the Artist.


The inspiration for this piece is derived from looking at underwater photography texts as well as physics sites, which discuss how light is absorbed as one descends into the Ocean. Each wavelength of light is absorbed at a different depth in water with  longest wavelengths, such as red, absorbed first. As a result the colors are absorbed from red to blue as they exist in the color spectrum. In addition, Oceanographic sites discuss the density of the water as well as the salt content increases as one descends. As each pouch is dipped into paint, the color absorbs into the fabric and minute salt crystals cling to the fabric as the wet liquid part of the colorant evaporates.  Hanging at different heights the colored pouches project a feeling of volume and weight while cascading at different heights from red to blue as the piece gets closer to the walls and crannies of the back stairwell. Though inspired by scientific phenomenon, this work takes an intuitive, poetic approach to representing the feel of being absorbed in liquid as salt saturates the experience and color becomes de-saturated upon descent.