San Diego Weekend Arts Events: Minerva Cuevas, 'Occupy Thirdspace,' Radio Axiom and more
Speaker 1: (00:00)
In our weekend preview art that looks at language in the border art that plays with fossil fuels, a new place set in a Japanese internment camp and some live streamed indie music. Joining me with all the details as KPBS art editor and producer Julia Dixon Evans, and welcome Julia.
Speaker 2: (00:18)
Hi Maureen. Thanks for having me. Hello,
Speaker 1: (00:20)
Let's start with oil painting. And this is the fossil fuel kind. Tell us about the work of the Mexico city based conceptual artist, Minerva Cuevas.
Speaker 2: (00:31)
Yeah. This is a new exhibition at the Institute of contemporary art San Diego's north campus. That's uh, formerly Lux art Institute and Minerva Cuevas has three connected bodies of work that she's brought to this. And they're all kind of relating to this imagined future where fossil fuels have taken over the natural world. That alone isn't all that hard to imagine, but Cuevas takes it to the extreme and kind of fantastical. One of the works, this huge mural. It has deep oranges and reds. And then the black is oil painted directly on the walls and in the mural there's these oil Wells and those pump jacks in silhouette. And then also these hints at how animals in nature have been completely taken over. They have adapted to plastics and oil and in another series, she takes vintage oil cans or, or products that promise how clean oil is, and then plants plastic flowers directly in them.
Speaker 2: (01:32)
And my favorite is these landscape paintings. They're usually of the ocean and she partially dips them in thick tar and the tar dries as an it's stripping off the painting kind of mid OS, and she'll have an opening reception and an artist talk tonight from five 30 to eight 30, and this is a residency. So Cuevas has a few set work days where she'll be working on new works in the series and the public is invited to come and watch. And there are two of those sessions this weekend, Saturday and Sunday from three to 5:00 PM.
Speaker 1: (02:06)
That's dark matter by Minerva Cuevas at ICA north in Encinitas on view tonight through May 1st now to the downtown library, there's a new exhibition opening in their ninth floor gallery space. Tell us about occupy third space to,
Speaker 2: (02:24)
Yeah, this is kind of a long range. Follow up to an exhibition from 2014. That moment was held at space for art. And this is a project from curator, Sarah Soleimani, and the show will be held in the downtown library's gallery based on the idea of the Tijuana San Diego border, being a distinct space of its own in this exhibition, subtitled Classica, eLab, and focuses in on that relationship between language and visual art, particularly from the 1980s, until the present grounded in the ways that language can be a tool of colonization. And some of the artists in the show there's Omar PTA, and we've recently seen his mixed media photography and poetry works. Those were on view at the former Lux art Institute space. Recently there's cognate collective Marco Ramirez era, Melissa ERO, and so many more. And the reception Saturday evening will be out on the dome terrace on the library's ninth floor. It's outdoors. There is a performance from Sonera Travis, who are this instrumental experimental Latin synth duo based in Tijuana.
Speaker 1: (03:34)
The occupy third space opening reception will be Saturday from six to eight P em at the downtown library. And the exhibition will be on view through May 2nd. Let's move on to the theater. New village arts had to push back on the opening of their production of desert rock garden during the OCN surge, but they found a new significance in tomorrow's updated opening date, which is the 80th anniversary of a executive order, 90 66, the 1942 directive to create the Japanese American internment camps during world war II. How is this connected
Speaker 2: (04:10)
This play desert rock garden it's set in 1943 in the Topaz war relocation center, which was one of bigger incarceration camps in central Utah. And incarceration is actually the preferred term for these camps. Now for many people versus internment, which is increasingly seen as a kind of euphemism or a misleading term, but over the course of the war, Toba held more than 11,000 people. Um, one of the themes of this play desert rock garden is how this high desert environment was so harsh for the people sent there who were not used to those conditions. The majority of the residents had immigrated to San Francisco, for example, and the script follows two people, an elderly man and a younger girl who forged an likely friendship in the unlikeliest of conditions.
Speaker 1: (05:05)
That's desert rock garden produced by new village arts and performed at the Oceanside theater company stage with the official opening night, Saturday at 7:30 PM and a matinee on Sunday at 2:00 PM. There's also one more low cost preview performance tonight at eight. And finally some music tell us about rabbit light and their live stream set with radio Axiom.
Speaker 2: (05:29)
Yeah, rabbit light is a cross border duo and people who are familiar with the visual art scene in San Diego may know Francisco ma as the front gallery director, that's in San. He's also an experimental instrumental musician. And along with Monica Camacho on vocals, rabbit light is an indie art pop band with really dreamy, electronics and vocals. And they've been releasing a string of singles lately, and another one is supposed to drop in just a few weeks and they're currently at work on a new album and they also recently collaborated with visual artist, Avia rose Ram on the art and animation for their latest video it's for the track in flames. And we also have that video on our website. If you wanted to check it out,
Speaker 3: (06:20)
We were just in a way
Speaker 2: (06:23)
Rabbit light is playing a set with radio Axiom, which is a project of Javi Vasquez. And each session includes a few performances with a DJ between sets and in Saturday show, it'll be John jolly trio Hastra Nathan Hubbard and Curtis glad performing alongside rabbit light
Speaker 1: (06:42)
Radio. Axiom is Saturday at 8:00 PM. Live streamed on Twitch and on social media for details on these and more arts events or to sign up for Julia's weekly KPBS arts newsletter, go to kpbs.org/arts, and be sure to check with event organizers for changes or COVID protocols before heading out. I've been speaking with KPBS arts editor and producer Julia Dixon Evans. Julia. Thank you.
Speaker 2: (07:09)
Thank you, Maureen. Have a good weekend.
In the arts this weekend: Minerva Cuevas at ICA North; "Occupy Thirdspace II" at SDPL; Camarada at UC San Diego's new Park & Market space; Rabbitlight at Radio Axiom; and New Village Arts' "Desert Rock Garden."
In the arts this weekend: Minerva Cuevas' takes oil painting to the extreme at ICA North; "Occupy Thirdspace II" opens at the downtown library gallery; Camarada performs at UC San Diego's new Park & Market space; Rabbitlight livestreams art-pop via Radio Axiom; and New Village Arts' "Desert Rock Garden" commemorates the 80th anniversary of Japanese-American incarceration.
Occupy Thirdspace II: Plástica y palabra en TJ/SD
Visual art, Music
Occupy Thirdspace II follows 2014's Occupy Thirdspace I, which was held at Space 4 Art.
It's a project from curator Sara Solaimani, and this second installment will be on view at the downtown library gallery. It features many of the same components as the first exhibition nearly eight years ago, but focusing on the border region's unique and critical relationship between language and visual art, particularly from the 1980s until the present — grounded in the ways language can serve as a tool of colonization.
Artists include Marcos Ramírez ERRE, Cog•nate Collective, Omar Pimienta, Melissa Cisneros and many more, with live music from Sondiero Travesura at the reception.
The opening reception on Saturday will take place on the outdoor Dome Terrace on the library's 9th floor. Masks will be required, and entrance to the actual gallery will be limited to thirty at a time.
Details: On view Saturday Feb. 19 through May 2, 2022, with a reception this Saturday from 6-8 p.m. San Diego Central Public Library 9th floor gallery, 330 Park Blvd., downtown. Free.
Minerva Cuevas: 'Dark Matter'
Minerva Cuevas' new exhibition at ICA North is literally coated in oil. The next artist in residence at the Encinitas branch of the new Institute of Contemporary Art San Diego is the Mexico City-based interdisciplinary, conceptual artist. There are three distinct parts to this exhibition: one is a gigantic mural, with red paint and black oil, with an easy-to-imagine fantasy world where the oil has taken over the natural world. Another is sculptural displays of vintage oil and petroleum-based products and advertisements, sprouting with plastic flowers.
The third, my favorites of the exhibition, are landscape paintings — think serene ocean waves gently lapping against a rocky coastline. Cuevas dips the edge of each canvas in a viscous tar used for asphalt and roads ("chapopote" in Spanish). The tar adheres but oozes thickly off the canvas, ultimately drying into a sculptural element that's equal parts ominous symbolism and grotesque, ink-black stalactites.
Cuevas' work will be on view at ICA North from Saturday, Feb. 19 through May 1, 2022. Cuevas' studio work hours are February 19, 20, 26, 27, and March 5 from 3-5 p.m.
Details: Reception Friday, Feb. 18 from 5:30-8:30, on view through May 1, 2022. Gallery hours are Thursday through Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. ICA North, 1550 S. El Camino Real, Encinitas. Free/pay as you wish.
More visual art: See my feature on the Bruce Onobrakpeya retrospective exhibition and correlating Wole Soyinka program through San Diego State University's art, theater and Africana Studies departments. This is the first time Onobrakpeya, a notable Nigerian artist, has shown work in San Diego. The exhibition opens Friday, Feb. 18 from noon to 4 p.m.
Rabbitlight at Radio Axiom
Cross-border duo Rabbitlight have released a string of singles lately, with another on the way in a matter of weeks. San Diego arts insiders may know instrumentalist Francisco Eme as the Front Arte & Cultura gallery director, and Rabbitlight is rounded out by Monica Camacho (who also goes by the moniker Lucy Libre) on vocals.
Standouts from their recent releases include a video for the single "In Flames," beautifully illustrated and animated by San Diego artist Avia Rose Ramm.
They also just put out a live, 360 degree video for their track "Waiting for You," which you can watch here.
Rabbitlight will perform a livestreamed set through Radio Axiom, a project helmed by Xavier Vasquez. Recently, Radio Axiom has been streaming live sets from regional bands, and taping them for a future video release. Each session includes several performances with a DJ between sets. In Saturday's show, John Jolley, Triokastra, Nathan Hubbard and Curtis Glatter will perform alongside Rabbitlight.
Details: Saturday, Feb. 19, 2022 at 8 p.m. Virtual/Twitch. Free.
'Heart': Camarada at Park & Market
Local chamber ensemble Camarada will perform a selection of works by composers from around the world, including Brazil's Dilermando Reis, Panama's Carlos Almarán, Mexico's Manuel Ponce and Daniel Catan, plus living composer and bassist Andrés Martín, who was born in Argentina but now lives in Tijuana and frequently collaborates with and composes commissions for Camarada. Martín will also perform on bass with the group. A pre-concert discussion begins at 7 p.m., with Rafael Fernández de Castro, director of UC San Diego's Center for US-Mexican Studies.
This performance takes place at the new UC San Diego at Park & Market location, a gallery and performance space that just opened — and is also home of the new Digital Gym cinema.
Details: Saturday, Feb. 19 at 7:30 p.m. UC San Diego at Park & Market, 1000 11th Ave., downtown. $40-$60.
New Village Arts: 'Desert Rock Garden'
New Village Arts (NVA) will open Roy Sekigahama's new play, "Desert Rock Garden" on Feb. 19, which will mark the 80th anniversary of executive order 9066 — the 1942 directive to create what we now know as the Japanese incarceration camps.
Sekigahama's play was written for NVA's 2019 Final Draft New Play Festival, and this will be its world premiere. It's set in 1943 and follows an orphan and an older Japanese immigrant who met in the Topaz War Relocation Center in central Utah. Topaz held more than 11,000 people, and the dry, high desert conditions were harsh. Fuzzy (played by Lane Nishikawa) and Penny (played by Chloris Li) build a friendship in the inhospitable-in-many-ways setting.
NVA executive artistic director Kristianne Kurner said in an announcement that this play also marked the company's first National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) grant. The production is directed by Yari Cervas.
Details: Runs through Mar. 13, 2022. Opening night is Saturday, Feb. 19. This weekend's showtimes are Thursday at 7:30 p.m. (preview), Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday at 2 p.m. Oceanside Theatre Company, 217 N. Coast Hwy., Oceanside. $16-52.
RELATED: 5 plays to see in San Diego in February
More visual art: The family-friendly Creation Station project takes place again at the Timken all weekend, Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 pm. with an outdoor mural painting activity.
Note: Check with event organizers for last minute changes or COVID protocol before heading out.
For more arts events, including daily Editor's Picks, to submit your own event, or sign up for the weekly KPBS/Arts newsletter, visit the KPBS/Arts calendar here.