How much do we still really test our boundaries? Many of us seek out jobs with security, relationships that we want to last, a home in a stable environment that provides safety from crime and danger. In our country we hope for economic security, safety from terrorist attacks or the possibility of war on our own soil, distance from political protest or dissent (the “Occupy” movement became a series of designated areas people were permitted to protest in), physical distance from the homeless, the sick and the insane. We seem to want everything in its right place.
Not everything fits there. And, sometimes it feels better and it just makes more sense to do something that seems impossible, insane, obsessive and ill-advised. Sometimes the most logical thing of all is to look at the structures we believe in to hold onto some sense of order and decide that they are not concrete and rigid—they are flexible, moveable, dissolvable. Maybe they are almost entirely a structure of our own making. If stasis equals death then remaining in a static structure is an equal death of sorts.
The 10 artists in Comfort Zones have pushed and pulled the edges of their own structures. With a sense of adventure and a desire to defy or question their own and others perceived limits, they manage to put into question what we are capable of physically and mentally, the arbitrary nature of imposed physical limits in space, and the expectations we have for materials, behaviors and landscape interaction.
Works in the show address varied subjects from the boundaries between sculpture and painting, our comfort levels in witnessing a risky task without the reassurance of a safety net, the implied volatility and non-space of the US/Mexico border, the sacred in the mundane landscape, the lack of limits in some of our greatest thinkers and the repositioning of our focus through text interventions. Other works transgress personal boundaries in attempts for internal perfection and connection with the outside world.
These artists share an adventurous attitude but, more specifically, feel compelled to test their own limits, the limits of the system they function within or who intentionally impose restrictions on themselves to understand what boundaries mean to them.