Heterotopias (2011 - present)

Exhibition Wall Text
MATRIX 238, June 26 - September 18, 2011
University of California, Berekeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

Desirée Holman seeks out worlds within our world, sites of transgression, conflict, and play. Her multimedia installations experiment with how these sites enable or disable deviation from the norms of so-called reality. For Heterotopias, Holman, who lives and works in Oakland, asked nine performers to channel fantasy narratives and personal desires to create an avatar, or surrogate identity, which she then realized, first with props and costumes, and then with fully rendered 3-D models in a virtual gamescape. This exhibition moves through Holman’s process of unraveling the analog and digital dimensions of a simulated landscape, starting with sixteen framed drawings. This traditional pictorial approach puts the ecstatically experiential video on pause, slowing down the frames to show us the physical reality of the computer user, the mask and undergirding that create the avatar, and the personal fantasies required to link those two worlds together. In the video room, we face the true fluidity of these frameworks—real people morph into mythic superheroes, battle and dance, and then recede ghost-like into their wireframe puppetry; they then reappear back in their everyday environments, close their computer screens, and return to domestic life. Transcending the real and the virtual, Heterotopias explores the performance of the self in everyday life.

Dena Beard, Curatorial Assistant
Exhibition curated by Phyllis Wattis MATRIX Curator Elizabeth Thomas.

Additional text on Heterotopias:
Audio on Heterotopias:
Mask of Agamemnon (Diffuse Map), 2011
Color Pencil Mixed Media on Paper
36 x 36 inches
Cultural Atavisms (Diffuse Map), 2011
Color Pencil Mixed Media on Paper
36 x 36 inches
Digital Transmography (Diffuse Map), 2011
Color Pencil Mixed Media on Paper
36 x 36 inches
Flesh Textures (Diffuse Map), 2011
Color Pencil Mixed Media on Paper
36 x 36 inches
Primary Framework, 2010
Color Pencil Mixed Media on Paper
16 x 16 inches
Virtual Player Framework, 2010
Color Pencil Mixed Media on Paper
16 x 16 inches
Fantasy Character Framework (a hypothetical primary framework), 2010
Color Pencil Mixed Media on Paper
16 x 16 inches
Primary Framework 2, 2010
Color Pencil Mixed Media on Paper
16 x 16 inches
Middle World, 2010
Color Pencil Mixed Media on Paper
16 x 16 inches
Embodied & No Body, 2010
Color Pencil Mixed Media on Paper
16 x 16 inches
Spectral Aura, 2010
Color Pencil Mixed Media on Paper
16 x 16 inches
Multiple, 2010
Color Pencil Mixed Media on Paper
16 x 16 inches
Choosing Between Light and Dark, 2010
Color Pencil Mixed Media on Paper
16 x 36 inches
Dancers Dancing in Their Own Digital Ectoplasmic Cocoons 1, 2010
Color Pencil Mixed Media on Paper
24 x 36 inches
Dancers Dancing in Their Own Digital Ectoplasmic Cocoons 2, 2010
Color Pencil Mixed Media on Paper
24 x 36 inches
Dancers Dancing in Their Own Digital Ectoplasmic Cocoons 3, 2010
Color Pencil Mixed Media on Paper
24 x 36 inches
Heterotopias, 2011
Three Channel Video
Installation at the Berkeley Art Museum, MATRIX exhibition
Heterotopias, 2011
Three Channel Video
Installation at Headlands Center for the Arts
Photo: Andria Lo
Heterotopias, 2011
Three Channel Video
Installation at Centre des Arts Actuels Skol
Heterotopias, 2011
Three Channel Video

excerpt length= 5 min 15 sec*
total video run time= 13 min
Music: "Engineering" by Tartufi
Cast & Crew Credit List

*This excerpt is a mock-up of a 3 channel video installation.