On Saturday (Jan. 21), Sloan Projects at Bergamot Station Arts Center in Santa Monica, Calif. hosts an opening reception for Hold Your Breath, the first solo exhibit by photographer and CalArts alumna Arden Surdam (Art MFA 13).
Hold Your Breath gathers black and white photographs, which Surdam constructed by crafting eccentric papier-mâché headpieces, which she then covered with found fabric and wrapped around her models in a studio setting. The result is a body of work that combines portraiture, sculpture and performance.
“Though the images that arise are formally stark and direct, the subjects resonate with a haunting poetic quality,” says the press release. “Surdam’s carnivalesque constructions dwell somewhere between human and animal, monster and myth. They are complex hybrids of indiscernible species and gender that are at once eerily familiar and impossible to categorize.”
More from Surdam:
From the Book of Genesis to the Carnival of Venice, masks are deeply rooted in performance, ceremony, and otherness. By obscuring the face and consequently the identity, one can engage in profanity, eccentric behavior, or ritualistic performance, and temporarily refute the social construction of gender, and sexuality… Whether fresh or reminiscent, fraught or beautiful, these carnivalesque characters reside in their embrace of fluidity.
Hold Your Breath is on view through Feb. 25 and is an official exhibition of Month of Photography Los Angeles.
Arden Surdam: Hold Your Breath
Jan. 21 through Feb. 25
2525 Michigan Ave., Gallery B5, Santa Monica