Written by Andrea Bogdan
Artist: Dani Dodge
Location: Los Angeles
Occupation: Installation artist
A new installation is bubbling up deep in the Brewery Art Colony. The genesis of the idea began in an old home that artist Dani Dodge restored years ago by arduously scraping through decades of old wallpaper. The original skin in the bathroom yielded a surprise – images of beautiful Parisian women walking their poodles – a layer Dodge desperately tried to mend to its earlier beauty.
The idea of covering up is one that Dodge has explored before, but this time it’s with a resolve ignited by the Charlie Hedbo massacre and punctuated by the November 13 terrorist attacks in Paris. Dodge is a former journalist and the Hedbo incident hit close to home. Since that time, production of “Peeled and Raw” has taken over her studio/living quarters in the Brewery Art Colony where Dodge has been collecting materials to create the archetypal living space of the modern mind.
“Peeled and Raw” is an interactive installation that invites viewers to not only touch the art, but to deconstruct it by peeling it away in strips. Each act contributes to the transformation of the room and individual introspection about who we really are. Almost every inch of the room, sans the ceiling and a portion of the floor, is peel-able – from the furniture to the mannequins, curtains, appliances and walls.
People are invited to write their fears on their torn pieces and leave them in the installation. Dodge will gather them up and ceremoniously burn them after the show is over.
“I hope people will walk away realizing that fear is natural but it doesn’t have to control your life and you don’t have to cover it up,” explains Dodge. “I’m not going to change my life or be afraid of certain people because they look like somebody that did something bad.”
“My greatest fear with terrorism is that it steals our humanity, as a nation and as a people.”
That said, “Peeled and Raw”, when over, is not about Dodge – it’s the collective stories of the people who visit, and the singular private experience of the person who explores it.
The “Peeled and Raw” experience can be found in the back recess of the LA ArtCore Brewery Annex Gallery at 650 S. Avenue 21, Los Angeles, CA 90031. Reception: Sunday, December 6, 2015, 1-3pm
Dani Dodge: Why I Choose Art
“I choose art because it is the most powerful tool I have to reach people. Art can illuminate. Art can inspire. Art can transform.
As a newspaper reporter, I made a difference in people’s lives with the stories I wrote. The potential of art, though, goes deeper than what I could create with words. Art can reach into the subconscious. It can create a new reality. It can change people from inside out.
With art I can make others’ lives richer, fuller, and more beautiful, and in turn, give my life meaning.
Maybe I can create only one tiny moment at a time, but maybe a hundred, a thousand, a million moments will add up to a better world. “
Here are a few ways you can follow up with Dani Dodge:
Solo Show: A.I.R. Gallery, Brooklyn, NY http://airgallery.org
Museum Show: New Museum Los Gatos, Los Gatos, CA http://www.numulosgatos.org/
Check out this time-lapse video of the install of Peeled & Raw! It includes all the great folks who helped put the installation together. A special thank you to the LA Artcore, Baha H. Danesh, Mark Dodge Medlin. Juri Koll. Moya Márquez. Chuck Overcash, and Kristine Schomaker.
Photos By: Baha Danesh