Cinnabar Presents ‘Borderland’ by Sabine Seft
September 1, 2016 6:30 pm - September 1, 2016 9:00 pm
CINNABAR is pleased to present BORDERLAND, opening Thursday, September 1st and on view through Sunday, October 9th. This FOTOSEPTIEMBRE® solo exhibit features Sabine Senft, the 2016 grant recipient of the Artist Foundation’s Rick Liberto Award for the Visual Arts. Works in several different media will be represented – stone sculpture, painting, and photography.
Sabine Senft’s work investigates the harsh realities that immigrants face when crossing the US/Mexico border, where crossing is now eight times more likely to result in death than it was ten years ago. Senft began this body of work in 2013 with a trip to the Marfa borderlands, which brought back childhood memories of family tragedies associated with the Berlin Wall and the Iron Curtain. She has continued to engage in extensive research and experimentation since then in order to create her unique representations of these BORDERLAND realities.
Senft takes unsettling symbols and images that deal with immigration and overlays them with beautiful, spirited landscape scenes shot in West Texas, leaving the viewer to choose which layer of reality to interact with. This exquisite layering invites one to look past the surface and take in what lies beneath. The vivid, oversaturated colors stand out vehemently – almost harshly – portraying the raw human emotion that is saturated in this place.
Each piece is framed by a halo of bullets, reminiscent of violence and tragedy. They cast stark shadows that symbolize the fence that physically exists along the border, thereby creating a three-dimensional sculptural interpretation of the US/Mexico border. The subtle yet distinct use of gold leaf on Senft’s pieces hearkens back stylistically to the German Bauhaus, and the rectangular shapes and irregular cracks in the leaf act as portals into the multilayered mixed media works.
For Senft, this exhibit is about illuminating the dichotomy between beauty and suffering. Juxtapositions and contrasts in her work illustrate the inequalities and trans-nationalities that exist at the border. Another dichotomy – that between past and present – is illustrated through the use of new digital techniques alongside the ancient materials of gold leaf and stone. Immigrants bring to the border their painful memories of past tragedies and a desperate hope for the future, both of which stand out in BORDERLAND.