Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara (MCASB) will present avalanches volcanoes asteroids floods, a newly commissioned installation by the vibrant New York/Paris based artist duo assume vivid astro focus (avaf) from August 14 – December 31, 2016. The exhibition is a site-specific retrospective featuring various media including painting, rugs printed with never-before seen imagery from the artist’s archives, hand-painted and stenciled murals, and a video installation. assume vivid astro focus was founded by Eli Sudbrack (b. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 1968) in 2001. Sudbrack began working with Christophe Hamaide Pierson (b. Paris, 1973) in 2005 as a duo that often morphs into a collective, depending on the different projects they are involved in. avaf works in a vast array of media, including painting, drawing, installations, video, sculpture, neons, wallpaper, decals, and often confronts gender, politics, and embedded cultural codes through pop imagery and neon colors. The duo brings a passionate collaborative spirit to every aspect of their work—from conceiving projects in tandem, to employing an extensive range of references and materials, to executing large-scale installations with expert, animated, diversely talented teams. avaf approaches every project with a combination of all-encompassing, unbridled vision and keen pragmatism.
Personal expression and a lust for life are prominently emphasized in projects that are simultaneously rooted in politics of free speech, civil rights, classifications of class, gender and national identity. Infused by pop culture and political references, avaf is influenced by multiple sources and visual traits from art, culture, politics, sociology, fashion and music, creating stunning and visually explosive mash-ups of transformed and re-contextualized references. avafoperates with a hedonistic spirit, and engages in frequent collaborations with musicians, designers, dancers and other artists, challenging conventional assumptions about authorship and the role of the artist’s persona in society and the contemporary art world with their core beliefs as foundation: “share, generosity, contaminate, be contaminated, devour, be devoured, travel, and spread”.
The title, avalanches volcanoes asteroids floods uses the avaf acronym, a play on words often utilized by the artists, to refer to our collective anxiety around natural disasters (particularly sensitive in California and Brazil at the moment). avaf fuses drawing, sculpture, and performance into carnavalesque installations in which gender, politics, and cultural codes float freely. avaf interfaces geometric abstraction and transgender imagery in paintings that challenge social and sexual norms.
avaf has also been the subject of major exhibitions and public art projects around the world. These include Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati (2015); The Faena Art Center, Buenos Aires, Argentina (2014); Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), North Miami (2013); The National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design, Oslo, Norway (2009); São Paulo Bienal, São Paulo, Brazil (2008); Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York (2008); Museum of Contemporary Art (MOT), Tokyo, Japan (2007); 1st Athens Biennale, Athens, Greece (2007); The Geffen Contemporary (MoCA), Los Angeles (2005); The Whitney Biennial, New York (2004); among others.
Some of the content in this exhibition may not be appropriate for all audiences as it contains adult material.
Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara (MCASB) exhibition and education programs are generously supported by Paseo Nuevo Shopping Center, The Andy Warhol Foundation; the National Endowment for the Arts; Nordstrom; Ann Jackson Family Foundation; Towbes Foundation; Festivals Grant Program using funds provided by the City of Santa Barbara in partnership with the Santa Barbara County Arts Commission; Mosher Foundation in honor of Barry Berkus, recommended by Dr. Bruce McFadden, and contributions from our Board of Trustees and many generous individuals. Additional significant support is provided by The James Irvine Foundation; Getty Foundation; California Arts Council; Hutton Parker Foundation; Williams-Corbett Foundation, and Santa Barbara Foundation.
Special thanks to: Laurie & Marc Recordon, KCRW, KEYT, KSBY, Santa Barbara Independent, Telegraph Brewing Company at the Goodland, The Outpost at The Goodland, and The Bobcat Room.
Portions of the art lab didactics in this exhibition use the BPdots typeface by Backpacker. CC BY-ND 3.0