Alicia Escott: Weight of the Stone Still in the Gold
Saturday, October 19, 2019
October 19 - November 9, 2019
Gallery hours by appointment
How can a house hold things together? Hold people together? Keep the other out? The Glowlery was built in 1892 on land that had been radically transformed in the decades prior.
Weight of the stone still in the gold explores the histories of Victorian architecture as it relates to the extraction of gold from the hills around San Francisco, the near genocide of native people, the displacement and destruction of animals and the clear cutting of redwoods used to build these homes. Listening to how the materials hold stories, both the stories of those who made those homes, those who were displaced, and the stories of the longer lives of the materials themselves.
Using materials excavated from my own home: lathe, plaster- mixed with sand and hog-hair, redwood studs that came from forest’s that were homes to people and other species, and are now the framework for my home. Oak floors —once Oakland, acorns gathered by Minwok people, branches torn to shards for those same acorns by grizzly bears- long exterminated - but now symbolic of the Bay Areas “entrepreneurial” western spirit, Weight of the Stone Still in the Gold asks: do these oak-floors remember the claws of those grizzlies? Do they bear the mark? What stories do they hold?
This work examines the current “gutting” of Victorians down to the stud during this latest real-estate boom, less than a century since the first gold rush; a newer rush still built on these same earth metals, and the same undercurrent of exploitation and gentrification amplified by the precarity of housing in San Francisco. The work in Weight of the stone still in the Gold meditates on the legacy of extractive culture, and the ways my own home holds me to a place.
About the Artist:
Alicia Escott is an interdisciplinary artist based in San Francisco. Her work is informed by scientific study and the examination and undoing of cultural narratives. She practices in solidarity with thinkers across fields undoing the construct of “nature” as a thing separated from us and our world. Escott is interested in how we each are negotiating our immediate day-to-day realities and responsibilities amid an awareness of the overarching specter of climate change, mass-extinction and the subsequent unspoken individual and collective experience of loss, heartbreak and longing— and the related social and political unrest it produces. She feels nostalgia for the Last Universal Common Ancestor from which all life on earth is descended when we were all connected— but lucky to be born in a moment of unprecedented species diversity that she has witnessed diminished in her own lifetime.
Her work has been shown in over 80 art institutions, galleries and alternative spaces and reviewed in Momus, The San Francisco Chronicle and others. Escott is a founding member of 100 Days Action who were a recipient of the 2017 YBCA 100 List Award. She is half of the Social Practice Project The Bureau of Linguistical Reality that have been featured in The Economist, The New Yorker, The San Francisco Chronicle, KQED, ABC News and others. She works Nationally, Internationally and locally.