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A gallery visitor interacts with Alejandro Casazi's "Empatheia Ballare."

A gallery visitor interacts with Alejandro Casazi's "Empatheia Ballare."


Dreamtigers: Students Think Big in Group Show

UCSB MFA Exhibition at CAF


Each of the five participants in this show-Calico Brown, Alejandro Casazi, Elizabeth Folk, Nathan Hayden, and Carrie Maseredjian-is energized by the kind of “thinking big” that Jorge Luis Borges had in mind when he imagined that in his dreams he might “cause a tiger.”

Calico Brown uses photography, digital video, installation, and site-specific work to express ideas about such topics as climate change and the loss of archaic knowledge through globalization. Whether she is transposing highly pixelated images of the 2004 earthquake and tsunami in Southeast Asia into soothing pictures of palm trees, or a making a serpent of driftwood, Brown wraps her highly evolved eco-consciousness in gauzy layers of digital noise.

Alejandro Casazi’s installation “Empatheia Ballare” presents a charming mix of low-tech, multimedia, and body art. White balloons hang from the ceiling, and small speakers attached to the underside of the balloons emit a vibration that, when the balloon is held in one’s arms, allows for the synchronization of heartbeats.

In Elizabeth Folk’s “Just Play! Restaurant,” visitors are invited to enter, via a game show, one or more of three miniature restaurants made mostly of felt. Folk’s original plan included actually serving food, but was nixed by a provision in the health code.

Nathan Hayden’s “We Will All Be a Little Bit Special on the Inside” solicits participation in his drawing/writing process, which involves creating small art objects on torn slips of paper. Hayden’s project extends from the wall of the gallery to the street, where he walks with people while continuing to generate these images. Hayden has a great presence and tremendous facility with the medium he has chosen, making a risky proposition into an audience favorite.

Carrie Maseredjian is engaged in a complex process of classification that involves the letters of the alphabet and virtually every element in her life. The process manifests in the gallery as a structured array of objects deployed across the space-all the way from a rack fitted with memory objects in the middle of the room to a small packet of Equal hidden above an “EXIT” sign. The work takes time, but creeps up playfully.



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