As one approaches GARBOUSHIAN GALLERY from Camden Drive, they see a series of eighteen fluorescent yellow canvases in the streetside window, signaling the words “desire for attention” in Morse code. Next to the gallery entrance Disaster Manual, page 4: Master Supplies List obsessively details disaster tips in gouache and ink on paper. Only upon entering the gallery is the depth and complexity of Parducci’s work revealed.
Survival Tent, a centerpiece of the show, is a six foot diameter structure installed in one corner of the gallery that corrals articles of Bush-era alarmism – duct tape, tin, canvas – into the shape of a large gas mask. The tent is surrounded by Parducci’s pristine “Skywriting” pieces—oil and acrylic paintings on canvas over panel in which the viewer is looking upwards from the base of barren trees at trace remnants of text vanishing into the clear skies overhead. Words and phrases are cropped into fragments of text such as “more” or “still here.” These phantom messages are underscored by the general stillness of the canvases, and the effect creates an ominous feeling that the intended recipient of the communication has long since passed on.
The show is rounded out with compelling works on paper, delicately rendered but with jarring subjects: Parducci’s striking “Oxygen Deprivation” series of red gouache on paper gas masks, richly colored skywriting drawings, more Morse code messages, and a survey of obsessive paranoia from her “Disaster Manual” series. The resulting work is not only visually seductive, but linguistically complex. Parducci examines the language of disaster in instances in which communication breaks down—the famous last words or the unheard or misinterpreted cry for help.
Parducci mines the terrain of alarmists directly for inspiration. She collects survivalist leaflets, black box recordings, WWII Morse code communications and hardware store emergency supplies, and she is quick to note the futility inherent in her work: “My skywriting paintings and drawings are ephemeral attempts at communication, vanishing before the complete thought or plea is made; the gas masks are a tender rendition of something innately scary; the Morse code pieces call for attention in a language no one understands anymore—you might as well be crying for help in Latin. And the survival tent is absurd, showing an over-the-top desire for preparedness, but it’s ultimately a ridiculous, albeit earnest, structure.”
Parducci has created a powerful body of work that explores a transformation of consciousness beyond paranoia. It chronicles the person who has struggled valiantly to avoid danger, but ultimately discovers serenity in his or her acceptance that death is unavoidable.
About Claudia Parducci
Parducci received her MFA from California Institute of Arts in 2006. She had her first solo museum exhibition at the Torrance Art Museum in 2009, and has shown at Peter Blake Gallery in Laguna Beach and Ochi Gallery in Sun Valley, Idaho. She has exhibited in group shows nationally and internationally at venues including the Torrance Art Museum; Armory Center in Pasadena; Nyehaus, Metro Pictures and Bowman/ Bloom Gallery in NY; galleries Lara and Eitoeiko in Tokyo; and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Tijuana, Mexico. Her work is in many esteemed collections, including the Eli Broad Foundation’s Sun America collection, Pritzker Family Collection, Wrigley Family Collection and the Dennis Hopper Family Collection. She is a member of the artist collectives LA Art Girls and Durden and Ray.
EMERGENCY, Keep on Fridge will be on view from November 20, 2010, to January 8, 2011 at GARBOUSHIAN GALLERY. The opening reception is Saturday, November 20, from 6 to 9 pm.