Lauren McKeon's 'Humanity Spectrum' Welcomes You to a Well-Made World

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Lauren McKeon, 'Focal Crust,' 2018. Toilet paper, crab shell, pigment, flour, glue, linseed oil; 3 x 5 x 5 inches. (Courtesy of the artist and LAND AND SEA)

Some of the works in Lauren McKeon’s installation at Oakland’s LAND AND SEA are so sly that during the opening, I mistook a denim-wrapped pipe as a possible piece of art. But upon second glance, I realized the denim was far too messy and unconsidered to be a product of McKeon’s meticulous hand.

Much like the works in her Interface Gallery solo show last year, the pieces in HUMANITY SPECTRUM range in size from the very small (a sterling silver key) to the very large (an eight-foot-tall wall relief). And also like last year’s Interface show, the material list is a necessary companion to the viewing process.

This list identifies “crab shell” as an ingredient in a sculpture that looks like a pair of sunglasses made out of papier-mâché, and “memory cards” as an element in a matching pair. The list also identifies the sterling silver key as a “duplicate front door key” (location of door unknown) in an unlimited edition.

There’s a sense of play throughout McKeon’s works, in her material choices as well as her subject matter, and we’re just the lucky guests of the careful, well-made world she’s constructed within LAND AND SEA.*

Gallery hours are Sat. May 19, 12-4pm (with a performance by Sebastian Parlor starting at noon); Sun. May 20, 1-5pm; Wed. May 23, 1-5pm; and Sat. May 26, 1-5pm. Details here.


* Everything that happens at LAND AND SEA is rendered, as a rule, in all caps. Rest assured that neither the artist nor this writer is yelling at you.