Better far pursue a frivolous trade by serious means,
than a Sublime art frivolously

Curated by Lia Halloran and Rebecca Campbell

Fine Arts Gallery, CalState Los Angeles
October 5th- October 29th, 2015

Transcendence manifests in various ways yet in every culture, age, and gender, it is recognized as an essential force. This exhibition explores art works that engages a metaphysical site where filters of language, history, and pretense are abandoned and one is invited to consider transcendence, an experience that happens with or without theoretical permission. Roland Barthes in his classic work ‘Camera Lucida’ refers to this direct, immersive and perhaps experience as the “punctum” denoting the wounding, moment of puncture, and personally touching detail, which establishes an exceptional relationship between a viewer and an object or image within it. A key component of this experience, although temporary, is its transformational quality, releasing one from the quotidian demands of pragmatism into a new paradigm of pure perception. It is our intension to specifically explore the idea that the sublime element in a work of art often eludes our own conscious ideas about what we are making as artists and experiencing as viewers. It may even exist in contrast to the stated intensions of a maker or the articulated experiences of a viewer. There are many different routes to the sublime. Some art makers attempt access through the physical act of creation, viewers through looking, magicians, shamans, naturalists, and countless others through alternative means but all with a drive to experience transformation.

 This exhibition is designed to explore the transitive state where contradictions of beauty and horror, comfort and terror, or separate and collective, that order our everyday lives, liquefy in a way in which dichotomies become fusions and experiences that may seem mutually exclusive synthesize into a multiplicity of truths. This exhibition ‘Better Far Pursue a Frivolous Trade by Serious Means, than a Sublime Art Frivolously’ offers the viewer the opportunity to reflect on a relationship to the sublime, the title a passage from a poem by Elizabeth Barrett Browning in 1894.

Alma Allen • Hernan Bas • Heather Brown • Rebecca Campbel • Ain Cocke
Zackary Drucker • Carlee Fernandez • Patricia Fernander • Ben Jackel • Tim Hawkinson
Lia Halloran • Laura Krifka • Monica Majoli • Cathy Opie • Jen Stark • Allison Schulnik