‘Dialogue’ exhibit explores matter

'Dialogue' exhibit explores matter

Jimmy Bottom

“Drawn Into a Dialogue”, an exhibit that has no attributions for its works, by John O’Brien and Steve Roden, is on display through March 10 at the Fine Arts Building.

“Steve and I wanted to be upfront about the fact that this is a collaboration,” O’Brien said.

Roden stated, “When we first visited the campus at Cerritos, and the art gallery in particular, we were both excited and struck by the 50’s/60’s geometric modernist designs of the buildings.”

The exhibit is a compilation of works with a centralized theme on minerals.

They also have a relationship to time, space and matter.

O’Brien explains, “A crystalline structure, when looked at microscopically, is incredibly geometric, but when you get to what it looks like in the world, it’s incredibly bulbous, prickly, and it doesn’t look geometric at all.”

Using the Fine Arts Building as an example, he goes into detail. “[We] started out entirely orderly, but, see after time, it starts to get banged up.

“The fading of the colors, someone grafittied on it, it got washed up, for us are forms of erosion that entered this structure, as well.

“If you consider this big giant building to be a crystal, well, then the erosion is what happens inside the crystal as time goes on; it starts to break down a bit.”

Not only were the art pieces done by both O’Brien and Roden, but a sculpture placed outside in the middle of the courtyard was, as well.

The “Sound Pavilion”, as O’Brien called it, was a collaborated work between the two.

It is a feature that represents the Fine Arts Building as the Cerritos campus continues to get revamped.

Those who look at “Drawn into a Dialogue” will see its similar patterns in pieces on the walls of the art gallery.

In particular, Roden made a musical composition based on the color scheme of the walls, giving the feature a track of its own, highlighting the Fine Arts Building’s color.

Its creation, however, did not play a major role in the rest of “Drawn Into a Dialogue,” as Roden states.

“I don’t believe so. At least, not in the case of the drawings I chose – but the installation, obviously, with the linear metal elements, also responded to the facade that the sound pavilion also responded to.”

As for unity in designing the exhibit, Roden said, “There weren’t any problems at all. In fact, there wasn’t even a guiding principle until we got into the space with a lot of different work and intuitively started to put things together.”