“There's no such thing as a free hand.” an exhibition of painting, drawing and sculpture by Sarah Thibault & Micah Wood. Sarah Thibault’s artwork for this exhibition- drawings, works on canvas, and sculpture made of provisional materials like cardboard and aluminum foil- investigates the quiet trauma of the everyday, a million small blows felt by the invisible and the silenced. Among her subjects are women, avatars for herself, grappling with a culture that values image and over agency; and the homeless population in San Francisco- people who are cast out and living at the fringes of the city. While the challenges faced by these groups are disparate, there is a loss of humanity and a degradation of the self that is shared. Engaging a Surrealist approach to image construction and materials as a way to access challenging subject matter, the work attempts to bring light issues that haunt our culture from the shadows.
Micah Wood’s small paintings on panels and reproductions of original posters offers a chance for the viewer to think about the current conflicts in the US and abroad. His use of posters by the French group “Atelier Populaire” draws upon the political context of France in the 1960’s, a time that is eerily similar to the American political landscape of today. Atelier Populaire posters were made for the May 68’ protests in Paris and primarily produced at the Beaux-Arts academy. The artists were addressing issues such as capitalism, fascist governments, consumerism and immigration, among other things. These artists decided to de-authorize the posters, making them available for mass reproduction— a nod to a more Marxist way of distribution. Wood felt a particular resonance with these posters while he was living in Paris this past year. The radical notion of giving up authorship of the “artwork” is also of particular interest to Wood in terms of appropriation and a conflation between political texts and painting.