Forêt Intérieure/Interior Forest opening June 1, 7 – 9pm

Interior Forest opening

Forêt Intérieure/Interior Forest

18th Street Arts Center, 1639 18th Street, Santa Monica, CA 90404

Opening reception: June 1, 2013, 7 – 9 pm

Exhibition dates: April 15 – June 28, 2013

Please join us for the opening reception of Alexandra Grant’s Forêt Intérieure/Interior Forest on Saturday,  June 1st from 7 – 9 pm.

The exhibition marks the culmination of a large scale site-specific work initiated by Grant encompassing a series of public drawing sessions, reading groups and artist collaborations at 18th Street Arts Center. Co-curated by Pilar Tompkins Rivas and Isabelle Le Normand, this work premieres in Santa Monica and is presented at Mains d’Oeuvres in Saint-Ouen, France this fall.

Based on an ongoing exchange with the iconic French author, poet, playwright and philosopher Hélène Cixous, Grant focuses on Cixous’ book Philippines as a source for imagery, centering on the repeating thematic of the forest as a profound shared space. Drifting between a real and an imagined place, the forest becomes a site for communion with what Cixous terms “the perfect Other.”  In Philippines, Cixous explores the philosophical and sociological constructs of the “Other,” linking texts from Sigmund Freud on the shared dream, Jacques Derrida on telepathy, and the story of Peter Ibbetson, a novel by Georges du Maurier, where two childhood friends separated by class and country are reunited as adults in their joined dream-life.  Within Forêt Intérieure/Interior Forest, Grant examines the “twinned” ideas of Philippines, such as dreaming and reality, telepathy and empathy, and relationships between man and woman, adult and child, and colony and colonizer, through illustration of the text, an installation of the forest as image and stage-set, and through collaborations with other artists and the public.

Structured as a residency and an exhibition, Forêt Intérieure/Interior Forest extends Grant’s studio practice into the arena of public engagement. Grant has held collaborative drawing sessions ongoing since April that invite community participation to construct a large-scale, site-specific work. Exploring the space between a specified aesthetic and shared process, Grant engages artists Frances Garreston, Channing Hansen, Bari Ziperstein, Annelie McKenzie and Tina Linville to produce sculptural, “Visiting Trees” (Arbres d’Ailleurs) for the installation. While artists Lita Albuquerque, Renee Petropoulos, Steve Roden, Scoli Acosta, Alison O’Daniel, Florian Viel, Meital Yaniv, Chritine Beebe and Laura Pardini have been invited to lead drawing residencies within the project. To date, over 190 participants have contributed to the work and are named as collaborators, and more than 70 people have formed part of the Cixous Reading Group active since January 2013.

“Forêt Intérieure/Interior Forest will continue at Mains d’Oeuvres in Saint-Ouen, France, presented from September 14 to October 27, 2013.

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