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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

What will you put in yours?

Dario Robleto, "Jar activity center"

At the MCASD downtown (1001 Kettner blvd), there is a "Response Space" to "Human/Nature" in the Donah Fayman Gallery on the first floor. In that space 3 of the 8 artists participating to the exhibition propose some tools to respond to it. One of them is "Jar activity Center". "This activity was developped in collaboration with exhibition artist Dario Robleto who utilizes an artistic process of combining and recontextualizing materials embedded with layers of history and meaning, visitors are encouraged to select and mix ingredients of their choice to create their own alchemical configuration."

A cart is filled with jars containing all sorts of things:
Lavender, dandelion root, Chamomile flower, White Willow bark, Rose hips, Mistletoe, Dead Sea Salt, Pink Red Roses, Mount St Helen Ash...

There are some more strange names like "Symphony awaits your arrival mix"...

Some of the jars are filled with pieces of tapes and one can read on the labels: "voices of world's oldest married couples", "Endangered Whales Songs"...

On the cart is a tape recording machine. The person who is there to help explains that you can record your own heartbeat, she will then give you the piece of magnetic tape, and you can put it in your own jar. In your jar you can add as many things as you want, chosen from the jars on the cart.

I never recorded my own heartbeat. I never made a mix like that. I look at all the labels, some names are very evocative, some are extremely mysterious and very attractive to me, like "The Melancholic Refuses to surrender Mix". The whole thing reminds me being in the wild "Vallee des Merveilles" in the south of France, surrounded by mysterious engravings: a strong - and strange - feeling of deep connection with nature and past civilizations.
I am happy I am with dear friends at the museum, we all make a mix, and we leave with our precious jars.

The jar I brought back from the beautiful mind of Dario Robleto...

MCASD: "Human/Nature"
1100 & 1001 Kettner Blvd.
858 454 3541
San Diego, CA 92101

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