Archive for September 4th, 2008

Come together!

Yesterday’s press conference at Corti Borther’s was absolutely inspiring. Looking across the parking lot at a collection of local chefs, community leaders, and citizens who had all come together in the interest of preserving a Sacramento institution gave me renewed faith in our city.

In total it was estimated that about 30 area chefs showed up.

Former Democratic Assemblyman Rusty Areias facilitated the event.

Biba kicked off the tributes with a moving and concise speech suggesting that had Darrell not been here on her arrival to Sacramento she would have packed her bags and left.

Kurt Spataro blamed his radical hair style on a tousling from Biba upon his arrival.

At different times Corti’s obvious display of emotion brought a tear to many an eye during the course of the festivities.

According to Corti, Mai Pham introduced Sacramento to lemon grass.

Patrick Mulvaney – quite possibly Sacramento’s tallest chef – helped facilitate the rally which was initially intended to be a show of support, and in the end became a celebration!

!!!!Viva Corti’s Viva!!!

DEBAUCH-A-RENO this Weekend!

If you’re itching to get out of Sacramento this weekend, Slovenly Records/Sticker Guy is hosting another music fest this weekend in Reno, NV!

There is a free pre-party on Friday with the Rock n Roll Adventure Kids, but the main event is Saturday. Catch some great bands including Head (Seattle), Subsonics, Okmoniks, The Sess, the Humans and Sacto’s own Losin’ Streaks! There’s also a secret surprise band with many rumors floating around…

There are some great deals on tickets and hotel rooms. Get the full info here.

See you in Reno!

Chris Daubert

by Tim Foster

Chris Daubert is on a roll. The local artist and Sacramento City College professor has recently been profiled in both Sacramento and Sactown magazines and is about to open a highly anticipated solo show at the B. Sakata Garo gallery. What happened to make this low-key local artist the Sacramento equivalent of an art star?

The short answer is Travelers Among Buildings and Streams. The artist’s ambitious 2005 installation at the 1050 Loft wowed Sacramento’s art community and was perhaps the best-received local work of contemporary art since Thiebaud’s heyday. The Sacramento Bee’s Victoria Dalkey called the piece “one of the most arresting exhibitions I have seen and certainly the most amazing installation to be mounted in Sacramento.” Similar accolades followed, and suddenly it seemed that everyone was talking about Chris Daubert.

Daubert seems to take the flurry of attention in stride. Clearly his focus is on making work—Daubert’s practice fills three studios—rather than promoting his art career. This attitude is perhaps unsurprising for an artist who traded a high profile position in the chaotic Bay Area art scene for the bucolic confines of Dixon, and later Sacramento. As the founder and president of the Pro-Arts Gallery in Oakland, Daubert spent more time curating and networking than he did making his own work. Now, though he both teaches art at Sacramento City College and runs the Gregory Kondos Gallery on campus, Daubert finds time to make work. A lot of work.

His wide-ranging art practice covers everything from assured life drawing to electrical constructions to fluxus-like installations. There is no constant, other than quality.

Chris Daubert’ style; it’s his thinking—a kind of signature attitude—that makes everything cohere,” says Elaine O’Brien, professor of Art History at Sac State. “His range of high level skills is incredible.”

Despite his prodigious output, Daubert has rarely shown in Sacramento. This is due partly to his tendency toward as he says, “extraordinarily large installations,” and indeed, Travelers Among Buildings and Streams occupied a 25,000 square foot space. But, at least as big a factor is his disinterest in making art as a commodity. Daubert is a rarity among Sacramento artists: an unabashed conceptualist who often includes the viewer as an inherent component of a piece.

Travelers Among Buildings and Streams is the ne plus ultra of the ambitious large-scale installations to which the artist is drawn. Constructed of over 1000 hand-built light-up text boxes, each containing a single word in red, the installation consisted of seemingly endless lines of fragmentary text. Hung in a horizontal strip throughout a darkened building, the texts ran nearly a quarter of a mile in length. The piece took 2 years to construct and when installed covered an entire floor of a rehabbed office building.

The text pieces, all but one written by Daubert, formed fragmentary statements—simple ruminations on a theme of man’s relation to the eternal earth. Visitors to the installation seemed to disappear, folded into the darkness, then revealed again only as negatives against the red horizon. The otherworldly environment was transcendental, seemingly disembodying the viewer in an effect of near-astral projection. As unlikely as it seems, Daubert had created the ethereal in a rough construction site at the corner of 20th and K.

Light House, Daubert’s upcoming show at B.Sakata Garo will be the artist’s rare solo foray into a commercial gallery. Asked about the show, Daubert laughed. “Barry [Sakata] said, ‘do what ever you want … but it sure would be nice to sell something.’” When I spoke with him a few weeks ago, Daubert was not exactly sure what work would be in the show. “One of the things that I’ve learned as a curator is that editing out twenty to fifty percent makes a show stronger,” he says. The creation and editing process will continue until just before the show is installed.

Daubert’s latest work is no less ambitious than Travelers Among Buildings and Streams—it’s just smaller. At least the versions that viewers encounter.

For this current body of work, Daubert creates epic structures, painstakingly documents them, and then tears them apart. Then, again using electric light boxes, he creates structures that house beautifully rich images of the destroyed structures—which now exist only in the documentary form. Carefully eschewing any reference to scale, the images could be almost anything, seemingly anywhere. Touching on Mayan architecture, the mechanicals of advertising, and the eternal question of what is ‘real’, the work is arresting, seeming both familiar and foreign at the same time.

Daubert is excited to be in Sacramento these days. He sees a new groundswell of interest in the arts, and is excited about both his own work and his curatorial work at the Kondos.

When I asked what motivates him to make art, he revealed a simple recipe: “I try to make things that I would want to see.”

Light House by Chris Daubert runs September 4 through September 29 at B. Sakata Garo at 923 20th Street, Sacramento. More information at 916 447 4276 or at