*Please note the new closing date of February 3, 2019.
Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara is pleased to present Bloom Projects: Beatriz Olabarrieta, Ask the Dust. Ask the Dust marks Beatriz Olabarrieta’s first institutional exhibition in the United States. Olabarrieta presents a new commissioned installation revolving around a film work exploring her ongoing interest in writing, drawing, and collaboration with other artists, musicians, and writers as devices to generate performative spaces or situations.
More than a film, this exhibition takes the form of a novel that aims to create a connection between the notion of drawing as writing, or writing as drawing. The title of the exhibition, which in itself references a novel, points to the notion of “asking the dust,” or looking for meaning and understanding not in solid objects, people, or places, but rather in the dust that those things produce and leave behind. By questioning what we are as humans with or without language, Olabarrieta examines the (im)possibility of articulation and the inevitability of the “slippage” of knowledge.
For this project, Olabarrieta collaborated with a musician, a cartoonist, and a writer, whose “voices” act as fictional alter egos of the artist. They are personas, or voices within the artist’s voice, and therefore key agents, or active parts, of the artwork. The inanimate technology that displays the work, the projector and speakers, embodies human characteristics acting as yet another alter ego.
Comprised of seven chapters, Ask the Dust inhabits a space that shifts and expands as the artwork “grows” within it throughout the duration of the exhibition. At the Opening Reception on Saturday, November 10, 2018, the first three chapters were released, alongside a commissioned text by writer Bianca Stoppani.
Two more chapters will be released Thursday, December 6, 2018 at MCASB in advance of a performative Artist Talk by Olabarrieta on Wednesday, December 12, 2018 at the Santa Barbara Community Arts Workshop (CAW). Release dates of the remaining two chapters will be announced at a future date.
While visiting Santa Barbara in early December 2018, Beatriz Olabarrieta will meet with UCSB MFA students as well as provide workshops for MCASB’s Teen Arts Collective, among other community groups.
Ask the Dust is the continuation of a series of film works that Olabarrieta has been working on over the past few years, including her durational performance Dumb Bells presented at the Serpentine Gallery in London in 2016.
Following the exhibition at MCASB, Ask the Dust will continue to unfold as chapters are added to the film work and take on new iterations.
Bloom Projects: Beatriz Olabarrieta, Ask the Dust is curated by Alexandra Terry.
Screening | Chapter Release: Ask the Dust
Thursday, December 6, 2018 | 6 - 8 pm
MCASB | 653 Paseo Nuevo, Santa Barbara, 93101
Artist Talk | Beatriz Olabarrieta
Wednesday, December 12, 2018 | 6 - 7 pm
Santa Barbara Community Arts Workshop (CAW) | 631 Garden Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93101
Curator Talk | Alexandra Terry: Ask the Dust
Wednesday, January 9, 2019 | 6 - 7 pm
MCASB | 653 Paseo Nuevo, Santa Barbara, CA 93101