Thursday, November 20, 2008

twice upon a time at Galerie Andreas Huber, Vienna - Opens November 22, 2008

twice upon a time
Carla Ã…hlander, Kaucyila Brooke, Tammy Rae Carland, Carola Dertnig, Desiree Holman, Judith Hopf, Christina McPhee and Susanne Winterling.

twice upon a time is a group exhibition organized by Galerie Andreas Huber, Vienna and Silverman Gallery, San Francisco. The two met in Berlin in 2006 and realized they both worked with artists whose practices engaged with conceptual, feminist, political and gender issues. Curating a collaborative show highlights the commonality between the programs of Huber and Silverman. The show first opens in Vienna on November 22, 2008 and then travels to San Francisco in March, 2009. twice upon a time is also a moment for each gallery to interrupt their solo show format, to provide a new context and use the gallery as a hub for a larger network.

The title underscores the fact that the exhibition will happen twice and is also a reference to the history of the fairy tale. Historically women fairy tale writers, also called conteuses, a term given to 17th century French women, were silenced and relegated to a more domestic literary sphere. However the conteuses saw their tales as amusements for sophisticated adults in the salon and not for children. Like the conteuses, the artists in twice upon a time challenge gender expectations, engage with playful techniques, collect and urge us to rethink our conception of storytelling and its history.

Desiree Holman’s playful video, I would do almost anything you asked me to do documents the artist wearing flesh-like suites that allow her to enact the role of male character’s by stepping into new “skin”. By wearing the skin of the male character Holman investigates the dynamics of romantic relationships as well as the male gaze. Like Holman Judith Hopf’s practice defies authorial positioning and investigates both behavior and identity. Romantic relationships often start at seedy bars, clubs and lesbian parties which is the starting point for Kaucyila Brooke’s ongoing body of work titled “The Boy Mechanic” (various media, 1996 ongoing). In this excerpt from "The Boy Mechanic/San Francisco"(2007-200?) she shows drawings (ink on paper) of lesbian bar names from San Francisco's past and present reorganized into her own idiosyncratic and fantasy narrative categories . Tammy Rae Carland’s Photoback works document the back of the photograph. Now the trace; who it was for, when, where, why it was taken and how it has lived its life is the focus rather than the initial image. Carland, like Brooke’s work documents memories produced in public identity and social spaces and allows the viewer to insert his/her own memories like a make up your own story. Through these personal and public memories and narratives twice upon a time explores looking for, the trace and the re-invention of ones self.

Tammy Rae Carland lives and works in Oakland, CA. Photobacks is an ongoing photographic series of found personal photographs from the 1910's to the 1970's

Desiree Holman lives and works in Oakland, CA. I would do almost anything you asked me to do is part of an installation-based project call “Breath Holes” which incorporates video, sculpture and large format photography.

Christina McPhee lives and works in Atascadero, CA. 47 Reds is a series of drawings where the artist presses black paper onto colored pigment left on the floor and draws over them. The drawings on top of the pigment are reminiscent of an illustrator adding imagery to a book that already existed.

Susanne Winterling lives in Berlin, Germany. Winterling applies a method of working that weaves ideas and visual structures, both personal and collective, past and future. Like in lovemindmiddleheart, which layers an image of actress Tilda Swinton and a library in a castle close to Prague in an attempt to capture sensuality, memory and dreams.

THIS IS A MYTH by Ben Shaffer, December 12, 2008, 7-10pm

Silverman Gallery is pleased to announce the opening of an exhibition of new sculpture and wall-mounted works by Ben Shaffer on view from December 12 – January 17, 2008 with an opening on December 12, 7-10pm. “THIS IS A MYTH” is Shaffer’s second one-person exhibition at the gallery and is themed around the space between chaos and order or rather an attempt to order chaos. “THIS IS A MYTH” embodies Shaffer’s interest in posing questions related to notions of truth, myth, survival and consciousness.

The work produced for “THIS IS A MYTH” contains the artist’s hand perhaps more than ever. Working with concrete, Shaffer sculpts pillar like totems that watch over the room and ouroboros, or serpents swallowing its own tail and forming a circle. Shaffer’s totems are made to live indoor or outdoor and should be treated as sacred, meditative and protective objects. The ouroboros symbolize the cyclic nature of the universe: creation out of destruction, life out of death. The ouroboros has been important in religious and mythological symbolism, alchemical illustrations, and is often associated with Gnosticism and Hermeticism. For "THIS IS A MYTH" the metaphor of the self-sustaining ouroboros foregrounds Shaffer's interest in renewal and mythology.

"Mother Beard" is one of Shaffer's concrete sculptures, covered in colorful triangles and shaped like an upward pointing pyramid which represents the monumental, the ancient and powerful, the spiritual and meditative. Associated with the number three, triangles and pyramids have very complex meanings. For instance, a pyramid pointing upwards can symbolize fire and male power while pointing down; it can symbolize water and female sexuality. Throughout "THIS IS A MYTH", Shaffer highlights the dichotomy inherent in the subtle gesture of turning a shape upside down to change its meaning.

“THIS IS A MYTH” is also the culmination of a monthly email that Shaffer has sent out to a select group of friends. The emails started on December 31, 2007 with this first thought “Written with rainbows all along the bottom a horizon line is now there and the words float above we’re looking all at the same time. This is a Myth.” A collection of all these texts will be available alongside Shaffer’s visual imagery. Spirits made by Shaffer will also be available at the opening.

Ben Shaffer lives and works in Los Angeles. He recently curated the group exhibition “Joy and Misery” in Los Angeles at FIVE THIRTY THREE Gallery.

For further information and images please contact Jessica Silverman at 415.255.9508 or

WISH KEY by Ben Shaffer, November 2008


This wish key is 32 years old.

All these thoughts that flowed up to this exact point needed to be
written and transferred and released from this maze inside with all
the lights turned out. Couldn't find the way about before because,
it's been so dusty and hard to breathe in here. Hard to touch
anything without leaving a trace behind

The sunsets are wonderful and beautiful all these redpurples,
orangeyellows, lights. Colors you've never seen before or could
imagine ever existing outside of science fiction. Los Angeles has
many sunsets like from all the stuff that floats in the air from what
we burn to move us.


With interlocking triangles the smallest shape with lines except the
circle. My favorite shape that is a sound, motion, seen in the sky,
in your eye, and on someone's lips, you can make it with your hands
and make it your life. This movement from here and back to here. I
saw a horseshoe in the sky this morning. This long contrail that came
from infinity and made a turn back from where it came from to
infinity. I use to draw circles with a line through them. I guess I
got it from a Mad Max movie or something. Now I'm making these
shapes. Making them heavy and colorful and something I can leave


Just in one night it all changed. This dramatic shift in
consciousness. People cried involuntarily. They didn't know they
would. It just happened that way and we all felt it in our own
indescribable ways. A realization beyond words. Straight to
emotions. Lived with cultivated grown inside and waiting for a day to
open up. Physical reaction, uncontrollable and completely natural.

So it could all change just like we want it to. Maybe all those fires
don't need to start. Just prisms thrown in the air. Follow the path
to the end and buy all the land there. Put your hands in it and touch
your lips. Crawl to the bottom of a tree and prostrate yourself
however you feel like.


what truth is it?
we sit high and look at the sky of the made things being in it
with the home made spirits inside and even more riddles to our lives
coming forth.. . .

eyes and movements seem to say more than anything else
the way it all feels right just a strange everything

sitting here and knowing it will end and start over again. . .
hold those secrets in your hair. . .


The Sun came down and weaved itself around me, forming an interlocking
cage of understanding that I couldn't escape from. The earth became
my temple and I prayed to it and saw nothing else but, nothing else.
All those points connected and extended into the visible consciousness
and attainable a pattern of recognition that must have always been
here and when those two sides meet they form something new entirely
with each other. How could all these voices not be heard falling from
above and coming into each of us giving life?

All these new mandalas are going to be introduced. Some of them the
same and some new from dreams I had. Not really what they would look
like more about how to make them. You ever think about what you'll
dream tonight? It's good practice for controlling your dreams.
Projecting to another world within you.

Ben Shaffer, 11/20/08

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Tammy Rae Carland, One love leads to another

New and amazing boxset edition by Tammy Rae Carland.
One love leads to another
Boxset of 16 digital c-print
Edition of 10 +3ap

Email us for full PDF of all images included in boxset.
*Photos by Kelly Puleio