Making Breakage Beautiful


Curated by Daniela K. Rosner

Artwork by:
Debra Berl, Miriam Dym, Miwa Ikemiya, and Wendy Renz.

Customizer-in-Residence Open Studio
at the Oakland Museum of California.

Friday 5pm-8pm | Sat & Sun 1pm-4pm
1000 Oak Street, Oakland, CA 94607.

The exhibition asks museum-goers to celebrate breakage and wear through re-use and reconfiguration. We use deteriorating laptops, clothing, and furniture to speak to the declining quality of products today -- how we have built a world where products are not designed to last, but rather to be temporary, to satiate a passing desire, or to fall apart at the precise moment the consumer desires something new. The session showcases four female artists working in a variety mediums and material techniques that critically engage breakage. Wendy Renz gives new life to dead and disintegrating wooden chairs through the design of succulent garden beds. Debra Berl casts an eye toward e-waste and discarded electronic components to create elegant necklaces and broaches. Miwa Ikemiya asks visitors to re-envision the frailty of ceramic artifacts by introducing opportunities for intentional breakage and design with cracked surfaces. Miriam Dym examines the allure of mending in the remaking of tattered clothing. Together these artists explore the social, political and material implications of corrosion and debris. In this, they question the relation between hedonism and breakdown to exhibit the aesthetic possibilities of redundant, discarded or "obsolete" things.