In collaboration with Portland Museum of Modern Art (PMOMA), Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara (MCASB) presents Midori Hirose’s first solo museum exhibition, Midori Hirose: Of The Unicorn (and the Sundowner Kids). The room-sized installation of newly-commissioned sculptures traces her explorations into the mythologies, historical accounts, ecologies, and communities of Santa Barbara, CA which unfolded from a series of conversations and excursions with Santa Barbara residents over the course of Hirose’s multiple visits to the area. Meetings with an anthropologist and ethnobiologist at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History, a botanist, a fireman, a Chumash elder, a motel manager, and several artists, combined with Hirose’s more abstract sensory impressions of the landscape, inform her conceptualization of various objects in the exhibition. Together the work offers timely narratives about this city, touching on issues including immigration, indigenous reality, and climate change.
Hirose, a multidisciplinary artist based in Portland, OR, often creates projects that engage lesser-known personal and collective stories as points of departure for addressing broader social topics. Her simultaneously focused and open-ended inquiries into certain topics of interest are born out of a diverse range of encounters that reveal fundamentally significant yet often overlooked or misconstrued aspects of a place or situation. Hirose refers to these as the “never not heres.” For this exhibition she asks, “What exists in Santa Barbara that holds it up—makes it unique—but also is somehow camouflaged by the everyday? What are the magic qualities of this city that are never not here?”
Midori Hirose (b. 1973, Hood River, OR) has participated in exhibitions including The Portland 2016 Biennial, Portland, OR; PICA TBA Festival, Portland, OR; Fylkingen – New Music and Intermedia Art, Stockholm, SE; and Samson Projects, Boston, MA; and her work has been featured in publications including Three Artist Books, Publication Studio, Portland, OR; Studio Journal Knock, Book Series Issue 3, Fukuoka, JP; and Zehn Sense Forever, Nova Contemporary Culture & Outscapes, Rojo Magazine, Rio de Janeiro, BR. Hirose lives and works in Portland, OR. http://www.midorihirose.us
Of The Unicorn (and the Sundowner Kids) is co-organized by curator Brooke Kellaway, and Libby Werbel, director of PMOMA.