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Cammie Staros at Shulamit Nazarian
At Shulamit Nazarian, Cammie Staros’ wobbly ceramic amphora jars aren’t the only thing that disorients. The gallery has been structured like a maze — walls built to guide the viewer through an orchestrated pathway on which one discovers Staros’ work scattered throughout. The series of amphora sculptures, which look as if they have been warped or melted, contain painted imagery, each rooted in patterns and figures found on traditional Greek vessels (Minotaur, Poseidon, and Athena can all be spotted). Yet, Staros mixes storylines and motifs together to create newly invented parables, which remix history. In this way, Staros approaches figurative stone sculptures and wall works made of re-imagined Greek coins — both recall traditions of a bygone era, while also pointing to the way that history is remembered and reimagined. These objects — vases, coins, and statuary — are often societal relics that are collected in encyclopedic museums and libraries as ciphers, which outlive the cultures they were built by. As such Staros ponders what relics of our own time might look like, subtly questioning the objects that we will one day leave behind.
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Photo: Installation view, ‘Monster in the Maze’ Cammie Staros, September 16 – October 28, 2023, Courtesy of the artist and Shulamit Nazarian, Los Angeles.