"Headgear For Tony"
2012 UC Santa Barbara MFA Exhibition, curated by Karla Blancas
Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara, CA
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How do built forms contain and generate meaning? Where exactly is this meaning to be found in the physical object? Is it in the materiality, the physical stuff of the object? Or is it somewhere else, somewhere deeper and less tangible? Bessie Kunath raises these questions in her diverse artistic practice—a practice that, like the source of meaning which can never quite be pinned down in her work, moves fluidly between media. Mostly sculptural and often video-based, Kunath’s work invites us to interrogate our understanding of the physical objects and images we encounter in our daily lives. Why does an image of a sunset conjure feelings of euphoria in one person, but a sense of melancholy or longing in another? Where exactly is the meaning located? Is it in the image, in the form onto which it’s projected, or in the space in between the image and the viewer? In Kunath’s work, meaning is in the eye of the beholder, but it’s rarely a clear transmission. Sculptures open up and reveal their hidden innards, turning the inside out, while video projections lose their referents and become kaleidoscopic in highly manipulated installations. The sculpted form is visible in all its materiality, yet Kunath uses these exposed objects not to clarify and reveal meaning, but to complicate it. In fact, Kunath’s work suggests that despite all the potential—whether frustrated or fulfilled—of the sculpted form to contain and transmit meaning, the only really knowable thing is the physical object itself.  
- Catalog text by Lauren Gallow, 2012 UC Santa Barbara MFA Exhibition
 

Inspired Architecture/ Headspaces and Screen Tests
“Inspired Architectures/ Headspaces and Screen Tests”, installation view
Bessie Kunath Inspired Architecture/ Headspaces and Screen Tests MDF, joint latex paint, lace, plywood
“Inspired Architectures Number Two: 5918 Hollister Avenue, Goleta, California”
2012
MDF, joint latex paint, lace, plywood
32" x 70" x 32"
Bessie Kunath Inspired Architecture/ Headspaces and Screen Tests

Bessie Kunath Inspired Architecture/ Headspaces and Screen Tests MDF, joint compound, latex paint, spray paint, welded steel
“Inspired Architectures Number One: Ode to Noah Purifoy’s Ode to Frank Gehry”
2012
MDF, joint compound, latex paint, spray paint, welded steel
dimensions variable
Bessie Kunath Inspired Architecture/ Headspaces and Screen Tests

Bessie Kunath Inspired Architecture/ Headspaces and Screen Tests

Bessie Kunath Inspired Architecture/ Headspaces and Screen Tests

Bessie Kunath Inspired Architecture/ Headspaces and Screen Tests digital video projection, wood, canvas, latex paint
“Headspaces and Screen Tests”, installation view
2012
digital video projection, wood, canvas, latex paint
19" x 25" x 20"
Bessie Kunath Inspired Architecture/ Headspaces and Screen Tests


Bessie Kunath Inspired Architecture/ Headspaces and Screen Tests
“Headspaces and Screen Tests”, video stills