Back Talk with Allison SommersJuxtapoz // Tuesday, 04 May 2010
“In these works, I want to engage with the metaphor of Schlaraffenland, the world of plenty, to explore the facets of gross abundance and to complicate what it means to take pleasure in the flesh,” Allison Sommers explains of her upcoming exhibit with Thinkspace gallery. “In Schlaraffenland, everything and everyone is part of a grotesque banquet of plenty, and consumption of others is not a transgressive act but rather a necessary engagement of the world around them.”
“There is an eroticism— consumption is, after all, the taking-in of the external— that charges Schlaraffenland with excitement and danger; while some creatures give themselves freely for consumption, others are trapped, tricked, or cajoled into giving bits of themselves up to the feast. I’m fascinated by the uncertainty this creates in the relationships between my creatures, who are at once both so cheerful and dangerous. It’s the tension created by this ambiguity that invigorates the world of these creatures: seductive, dangerous, peculiar Schlaraffenland.”
How do you feel right now?
Very well, thank you.
If you could wake up in a different place tomorrow morning, where would it be and what would you do?
If it's just for a day or so, I would like to wake up as the protagonist of one of those big-studio early sixties films about Rome or Egypt. Can I get that alongside Rex Harrison, or Peter O'Toole?
If you lost your creative skill, how would you see yourself making a living?
The mere thought makes me despair. Cookery?
If you could punch one living contemporary artist, who would it be?
It's probably too easy to say Thomas Kinkade, right? Ken Burns.
Was your first kiss worth writing a song about?
I only remember that it was in a swamp alongside stinkweeds. So, I suppose it could make a hilarious mournful Ralph Stanley ballad.
At what point were you particularly happy?
Right now is wonderful.
No regrets allowed, but there must have been one?
I wish I had made better use of my time in high school and college.
What trait do your friends have in common?
I try to befriend people with pronounced limps. Or lisps, I can't remember which.
If you had to evacuate your home or studio, what's the one thing you would grab?
The hedgehog! [Ludwig, below]
Greatest love of your life?
My partner. Art.
What is your favorite vice?
When you blow out the birthday candles, what do you wish for?
More time. Financial security. A replicator!
If you could play a character from a favorite film or TV show for a day, who would it be?
Spock, obviously (T'pau would also be acceptable). Zaphod Beeblebrox. Worf.
Do you ever lie?
I like to think I mostly only do so when it's socially acceptable. Ok, yes.
Do you think viewers understand the intent of your work?
I'm not sure it's important-- visual work is already open to endless interpretations depending on the viewer, so in some ways it's pointless to force one meaning over another. I, as the author, intend to have as much fun with my work as I can, and I do at least hope people understand how much nose-thumbing is happening in the work.
What virtue can you do without?
Stuff them all, I think they make dullards of people. Temperance! Who needs temperance?
Do you even notice when you're swearing?
In polite company, perhaps. Otherwise, I'm terribly foul-mouthed.
What has been your proudest moment?
Ask me May 7th.
What would you like to be remembered for?
I want to leave some weird, irreverent art behind, and for people to remember me as such.
How would you prefer to die? ?
Never. NEVER! I'm looking forward to cryonics getting better in my lifetime. Or the ability to download my brain into an artificial body, although if that technology exists, then the singularity will probably have come, and then we're all screwed.
Thinkspace Main Gallery:
‘Schlaraffenland’ from Allison Sommers
Opening the same night in the Thinkspace Project Room:
‘III’ from João Ruas
Opening Reception: Friday, May 7th from 7-10pm with both artists in attendance
The Mandoline Grill Food Truck will be out during the opening reception – come hungry!
Both exhibitions on view: May 7th – June 4th
6009 Washington Blvd.
Culver City, CA 90232
Wednesday thru Saturday
1 p.m. – 6 p.m. (or by appointment)