CES Gallery is pleased to present Psychonautics, a group exhibition featuring works by Elana Bowsher, Robert Gutierrez, Elizabeth Huey, Tristram Lansdowne, Kenton Parker, Brian Robertson, Lisa Sanditz, and Sarah Weber. Descriptions of the subjective effects from altered states of consciousness depend on each researcher’s immersion techniques. The mind is a landscape and psychonauts are sailors of the soul. We surf the wave of the transpersonal human condition. We crave a scientistic spirituality. We disassociate to dissect ourselves. With insight and intuition, we observe. The artists in Psychonautics create landscapes as a means to realize psychological space, deconstructing politicized environments and terrains.
The complexities of psychonautic exploration, as with most contemporary queries, find their first home in digital discussion board relay chats and subreddits with headers like – When you facilitate consciousness its best to no [sic] your material / Causes for an agitated mind and how to mind-control it / Bowel problems and the second circuit / Implementation and Inception / I’d like to learn math that is condusive [sic] to psychedelic perspectives – which are perhaps a bit like navigating the endless bricked maze of the nauseating Windows 95 screensaver. Leaving states of normalcy behind, the artists in Psychonautics’ journey are rewarded with perspectives to respond.
Sarah Weber paints curvy abstractions of famous gardens inset into themselves, picture in picture, like a psychedelic flashback hovering in a simulated sunset. Elana Bowsher’s twisty dipped ceramic cacti are gum-dropped-acid hallucinations in an imagined desert. The surreal landscapes in Robert Gutierrez’s diptych, History Timing (2017), fade in and out of each other, melting into pooled paint, occupied by organic body-blobs tied down to prevent escape into the ether under all-seeing sky eyes. Cleared Lot (2010), by Lisa Sanditz, depicts a bulldozed and piled up landscape pre-development like the world’s largest stress ball too big to squeeze. The historical figures in Elizabeth Huey’s psychedelic sets are in various states of ecstasy as they navigate the process of healing from personal ailments and systemic oppression. Brian Robertson’s paintings collapse interiors, still-lifes, and dream-like deserts into visual puzzles that convey a sense of introspection and longing. Kenton Parker moves through the landscape, later memorializing it with paintings of symbol-marks, creating an internal safe space for the artist. Tristram Lansdowne’s imagined architectural islands are floating in a gentle sea-sky spectrum of thoughts, uninhabited and still, like ruins of future civilizations for new psychic explorers to discover. Psychonautics can lead us to a deeper knowledge, but not without the danger of losing ourselves.