Los Angeles | September 10 - November 11 2016
Five Car Garage is pleased to announce Rib Mountain, the first solo exhibition by Los Angeles-based artist, Kyla Hansen.
In Rib Mountain, Hansen’s assemblage sculptures and text-based works reference the anthropomorphized, feminized desert landscape through storytelling. She combines scraps and aesthetics from the American desert – urban and rural, interior and exterior – enthusiastically forming and filling spaces as an intrinsically feminist act. Hansen is interested in make-shift aesthetics that earnestly attempt and fall short of mastery. She alludes to theatrical sets and props through material and construction, sculpting with Hollywood prop-house materials, handicrafts, concrete, wax, clay, and paper-mache.
Throughout her work, Hansen plays with language, landscape and slippery histories. The text quilt Cave Bacon references both the storied, drapery-like rock formations of Lehman Caves in The Great Basin National Park as well as the female body. The exhibition title Rib Mountain comes from the isolated quartzite hill, Rib Mountain, the folkloric resting place of the mythical giant lumberjack Paul Bunyan. The “rib” also has allegorical references to Eve and the female body.
The iconic desert of the American West is typically depicted as a vast, empty space: a seemingly endless void. Myth and history work together in this landscape, and often there is no distinction between the two. The tall tales and lore of the American frontier arose to explain the origins of lakes, mountains and canyons. In effect, these myths filled in the holes in our understanding; not only of the geographic landscape, but also of the experiential and psychological landscape. In literature, folklore, and film there is a strong attachment to the idea of the open, natural desert landscape as essentially feminine. It has been described as pure, expansive, void, mystical, sensuous, healing and when uncontrolled, terrifying. In Rib Mountain, Hansen uses these potentially problematic, gendered comparisons between woman and (empty) space as a site for potential.