For an idea of the desert, Joshua Tree, CA (August 2013)

Nora Jean Petersen
Fay Ray
Curated by Gladys-Katherina Hernando
August 30, 2013

SHANGRILA 2013: Burrito Deluxe, Joshua Tree, California
Organized by Steven Bankhead and Jesse Benson
August 30 – September 1, 2013

For an idea of the desert…

It is a vast nature. Sands of former lakes and rivers. A mysterious eternity, the definitions of this arid place are almost unfathomable. Layers build to form new shapes. Entropy and erosion. They reveal time in their imprint, perhaps it was only a moment.

From this distance to the city, surrounded by the warm summer air, let the landscape shore up a temporary dislocation in favor of discovery. Be here now.

A forced perspective finds you, a mirror image recording a landscape, to create an ideal position of vision from a single vantage point. Like a hallucinogenic scene from a 1970s science fiction film, these facets simulate movement, light and shadow in flux, to capture the warped symmetry and sun-scorched surface of the desert earth.

What are the codes and signs of the medium? Do the historical echos reach these public lands that hands have barely touched? Can these objects reach for the sky like Joshua or the trees just outside?

The Cahuilla Native Americans used the leaves of the Yucca brevifolia to weave baskets and sandals. Now there are only shapes and trails made by other hands, shadows of bodies lay beside the reversed imprints of natural objects. Monochromatic blackness of form and texture, the art of ritualized behavior.

For an idea of the desert these works collide. They reach from their origin in the city, activated by the howling wind, the concentrated particles of dust, a wandering eye, a beating heart, or a racing mind.

Neptune at opposition.

The waning moon will laugh tonight.

August 31, 2013, Shangrila, Joshua Tree

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Nora Jean Petersen received her MFA from Art Center College of Art and Design and her BA from Sarah Lawrence College. She has exhibited at China Art Objects, Los Angeles; Karen Lovegrove Gallery, Los Angeles; Galerie Nomadenoase, Hamburg; and at the Santa Monica Museum of Art, Santa Monica, among others.

Fay Ray received her MFA from Columbia University and her BFA from Otis College of Art and Design. She has exhibited at various institutions and galleries including Aran Cravey Gallery, Venice; Honor Fraser Gallery, Los Angeles; LAXART, Los Angeles; Gagosian Gallery, New York, NY; and El Museo del Barrio, New York, among others.

All photos © Joel Woodman

LIST OF PARTICIPANTS: Rhiannon Aarons – Amy Radio – Animal Charm – Merwin Belin – Big Girls – MC Sky Burchard – Michelle Chong – Ted Byrnes and Nick Deyoe – Justin Cole – Greg Lenczycki – Alan Nakagawa – AJ Collins – Molly Corey – Mark Desiderio – DJ Debbie Downer – Earth Like Planets – Elephant – Alex Becerra – Diana-Sofia Estrada – John Hogan – Sarah Peterson – Guan Rong – Women vs. Children – Thor Evensen – DJ Mark X Farina – Quinn Gomez-Heitzeberg & Astri Swendsrud – Hannah Greely – Daniel Handal – David Hendren Gladys-Katherina Hernando – Nora Jean Petersen – Fay Ray – Chas Higginbottom – Cannon Hudson – Malisa Humphrey – Ricardo Ibarra – Natalie Jones – Bridget Kane – Farrah Karapetian – Becky Koblick – Jamie Isenstein – Sonia Leimer – Faris McReynolds – Jessica Minckley – Joshua Nathanson – Davida Nemeroff – Net Shaker – Bret Nicely – D’Ette Nogle – Tom Norris – One Finger Riot – Shalini Patel – Josh Peters – Renee Petropoulos – Ben Pruskin – Chadwick Rantanen – Mark Roeder – Svetlana Romanova – Asha Schechter – Elana Scherr – Nicolas Shake – Summercamp’s ProjectProject presents: Inside Job – with Fatima Hoang – Supper – The Softest Handshake – DJ Jan Tumlir – Torbjorn Vejvi – Chris Wilder – Taylor Zepeda – Rodd Zinberg