On Site: New Work by Mitra Fabian

An art installation featuring cascading strands of reflective materials hanging from the ceiling, forming two large, curtain-like structures with light reflecting off their surfaces.
Mitra Fabian, On site, site-specific installation using archival celluloid culled from Gleeson Library-Geschke Center

Exhibition Dates

March 17, 2014 to April 16, 2014

Using hundreds of rolls of Gleeson Library’s de-acquisitioned microfilm, San Jose-based artist Mitra Fabian will create a site-responsive installation transforming the gallery’s central area (located in Gleeson Library’s original circulation and card catalog area) into a shifting landscape of archival celluloid. Hung from the ceiling, this long-lasting, yet increasingly outmoded medium (and the information it contains) will take on new life that captures light, breathes, sways as it quietly takes over the space. Alongside this, Fabian will present past works exploring material and form.

Made from atypical, yet familiar materials such as tape, glue, window blinds and scientific
products, these works often take on organic forms. As she builds with these materials,
she deconstructs or alters them in such a way that they are not immediately recognizable. The reconstruction is often determined by what the material is capable of doing, rather than by what the materials are meant to do. These new physical forms are much more organic, often mimicking the appearance of tumors, magnified cells or mold.

Fabian uses exclusively manufactured materials thereby transforming the artificial, throwaway product into something seemingly natural. This serves as a commentary on the increasingly modified condition of humans, which pits nature against culture and blurs the line between the organic and manufactured. With “On Site,” she brings this conversation around to the nature of information as well.

Mitra Fabian was born in Iran and raised in Boston. She received a BA in Art/Anthropology minor from Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio and her MFA from California State University, Northridge. Fabian has been showing her work nationally since 1997, including the Museum of Contemporary Craft, the Laguna Art Museum, and the Armory Center for the Arts. She has also shown with prominent galleries in Los Angeles and San Francisco. Her work has been reviewed by several media organizations including Spark, KQED Television and Artweek. She is currently a professor at West Valley College in Saratoga, California.

Thacher Thursdays for On Site

12-1 pm, Thacher Gallery
March 20: on-site dance performance by USF dancers
March 23: chamber music featuring USF students
April 3: Exhibition Tour
April 10: pop-up response to On Site organized by USF Masters in Museum Studies students

View the Flickr gallery.