When: Oct. 24-Dec. 6 2014
Inspired by Robert Rauschenberg’s 1955 piece “Bed,” New Bed at Krowswork Gallery (480 23rd St., Oakland) explores the symbol as a nest woven from the intersection of identities — highly personal, yet sometimes shared. Through the work of five artists creating in various disciplines, including combinations of sculpture, video, photography, and installation, the bed emerges as a cultural trope infused with historical residue ready to be personalized. In Roderick Kiracofe’s immersive installation, the viewer enters a dark room draped in historical quilts. Housed within the womb-like alcove are a table and chairs and an intimate video loop (made in collaboration with Jason Hanasik) featuring Kiracofe’s life partner, Jack. Within this work, the bed is deconstructed into its defining elements of intimacy, rest, comfort, and shared privacy. In another installation, Nicole Shaffer literally deconstructed the bed that she shared during a past marriage. She tore, stained, wrote on, and embroidered the sheets, cutting open the mattress to form a deep hole housing flowers, crystals, and a stuffed cat sculpture. Shaffer then took the bed into the Orinda hills for a three-day performance of catharsis and renewal that was documented by photographer Gina Cholik and video artist Anne Klint. Shaffer’s piece embodies the potential of the bed as a symbol of identity and personal narrative available to be reworked to form a new emotional resting place. New Bed also features a video by Sanford Biggers and work by artist duo Karen and Malik Seneferu.