Dani Dodge: Afterfear in San Diego

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Just in time to confront our biggest fears for the next four years, Los Angeles artist Dani Dodge has created a large-scale installation that asks people to inspect the quality of fear and sin. “Afterfear”, opening at HB Punto Experimental in San Diego on December 10, expands on previous installations where visitors wrote their fears on scraps of paper or recorded their sins in a full-sized confessional booth.

Dani is a former journalist and war correspondent, so she is familiar with battlegrounds. Her installations are visualizations of the hostilities that rage within us. Dani’s work can be found in the collections of three museums and she has solo shows scheduled in 2017 at the New Museum Los Gatos, the Museum of Art and History in Lancaster, and A.I.R Gallery in Brooklyn, New York.

Dani Dodge’s work confronts emotion. It invites people to write, to burn, to tear, to throw. It requires participants to reveal. “Afterfear” is an installation created from the ghosts of her exhibitions past.

dani-dodgeVisitors are invited into a room to witness the remnants of fear, and contemplate, who are these residual ghosts? Are they us?

Dodge is a Los Angeles installation artist. Her work often incorporates interactive elements that require participants to reveal personal truths, and in doing so recognize our shared human frailties. She has burned people’s fears, thrown people’s burdens into the ocean, and typed people’s sins for the purpose of posting them publicly.

As part of shows in the past year, Dodge had invited people to tear the wallpaper off the walls and write their fears upon the scraps. Dodge burned those fears. What remained on these walls were abstract designs as deeper and deeper scraping revealed earlier and earlier vintages of wallpaper.

In “Afterfear,” the gallery walls will be covered with the remains of this torn vintage wallpaper, which has also been desecrated with graffiti. Other walls in the gallery will be built with glass bricks that encase the ashes of the fears burned in previous exhibitions.

Visitors to HB Punto Experimental will be invited to walk through these remains to a blank wall in the back. But to get there, they must navigate over and around a garden of totems — both abstract and figurative — which represent emotions explored in previous shows, including burdens, sins, and failure. Dodge creates these totems from the antithesis of traditional red cedar: Styrofoam discards.

Once visitors reach the blank wall, they will write down what haunts them on slips of wallpaper and glue them to create a new wall. This new art, a creation of people’s specters, will be used again in a future exhibition.

“If we can never extinguish our fears, we have to learn to live among them,” Dodge said.

Dodge’s work is part of three museum collections, and she has solo shows scheduled in 2017 at the New Museum Los Gatos in Los Gatos, Calif., the Museum of Art and History in Lancaster, Calif., and A.I.R Gallery in Brooklyn, New York.

Dani Dodge – Twitter

HB Punto Experimental is located at 2151 Logan Ave Section B, San Diego, CA 92113 — MAP