Current Show
July 2014: Yasmina Chavez presents Floss & Gravity

In this, her third solo exhibit, artist Yasmina Chavez explores the idea of senselessness and acceptance. The work was inspired by Patricia Oakley, a once San Jose, California resident and the first person to jump off the Hoover Dam Bypass bridge. On April 9, 2012 this 60-year-old woman decided to die at the mercy of gravity.

This exhibit is about a middle where everything is grey, time works in circles, and answers are nonexistent. As Chavez explains, “The exhibit is not about suicide, but about a world that exists between the things humans control and the things that control us—things such as floss and gravity. Life is at the mercy of a mental and physical chaos in this in-between world. The outcomes that derive from this place of senselessness leave us with the only option of acceptance.”

Floss & Gravity is part ceramic and part video exhibit. Through a risky experimental reverse casting process, once treasured stuffed animals were dipped in slip clay then burned away in a gas kiln firing, leaving only the shells of what used to be. The pieces are suspended in air by dental floss and gravity, a metaphor for visible human control and invisible natural laws.

The sculptures are accompanied by a series of videos called the “Grandma Suicide Vignettes.” Appropriated sound was matched to footage filmed over a span of two years, forging a collision that creates connections where ones didn’t exist. The videos explore the idea of acceptance through a minimalistic approach in sight, sound, and time.

Yasmina Chavez is a long time Nevada resident. She was raised in Elko, NV and has lived and worked in Las Vegas since 2004. She graduated from UNLV in 2011 with her BFA in photography. In the fall of that same year, along with three other local artists, she co-founded 5th Wall – a contemporary art gallery focused on encouraging artists to work conceptually with the idea of space and visitor interaction. Since graduating, Chavez has had two solo exhibits and has collaborated with friend and fellow artist Javier Sanchez on two large scale installations. She has also participated in group shows throughout Las Vegas, including the 2012 and 2014 London Biennale, the 2012 short film festival Spring Flicks, and 2010’s Off The Strip new genres festival. This fall Chavez will be pursuing her MFA at New York State’s Alfred University, ranked #11 in the nation for their Fine Art graduate program and #1 for their ceramics school. She is ecstatic to take her art practice to the next level with the opportunity for concentrated research and exploration of new artistic territory, in New York.