Immersive works can be seen at Interstitial, MadArt, CoCA, Method and Oxbow galleries in Seattle.
Yayoi Kusama’s vibrant, obsessive art, now at SAM, simultaneously takes us out of ourselves and makes us aware of ourselves in our surroundings. Here are five other exhibitions that are similarly process-oriented or site-specific in ways that ask us to think about our relationships to space and method.
‘make boring’ at Interstitial
Chinese-born artist Ellen Xu has transformed this small gallery into an immersive environment using drawing, pieces of wood and hot glue. The artist describes her process as exploring “how stereotypes within a system can be redefined through the application of actions, performance and imaginative play.” Xu began in a back corner of the gallery, then slowly and methodically extended outward, spending almost two weeks living and working in the gallery. “make boring” can be experienced through Aug. 5 at Interstitial, 6007 12th Ave. S., third floor (interstitialtheatre.com).
‘Super Natural’ at MadArt
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Jennifer Angus — a professor of design at the University of Wisconsin, Madison — also uses an additive, site-specific process, but with quite different materials. For the past 10 years, Angus has worked with dead insects, pinning them to walls to create intricate patterns and wondrous room-sized installations. As always with MadArt, you can stop by to watch the work in progress; my latest visit revealed rows of honey jars, weird dioramas in bell jars, and gorgeous insect-infused designs on pink walls. “Super Natural” will be on view through Oct. 14, with the artist on-site, constructing the installation through July 30, at MadArt, 325 Westlake Ave. N., #101, Seattle (206-623-1180 or madartseattle.com).
‘Sarah Fetterman: Past Selves’ at CoCA
This complex exhibition revolves around performances by artist Fetterman, who douses herself in flour and leaves traces of her movements around the tar-paper-covered gallery. Her gestures are also captured by a visitor-activated camera, then layered into a “single ghostly record.” For this interactive, multisensory experience, Fetterman collaborated with Hannah Simmons, a digital artist who uses coding and dance, and Jack Christoforo, a software designer. “Past Selves” can be seen through July 29, with a performance by Simmons at 7 p.m. on Thursday, July 6, at Center on Contemporary Art (CoCA), 114 Third Ave. S, Seattle (cocaseattle.org).
‘Damien Davis: White Room’ at Method
After seeing Fetterman’s performance during July’s First Thursday, be sure to swing by Method Gallery, where Davis has filled the floor with abstract shapes and “base iconic forms” that are integral to his work. Davis’ practice often investigates how “cultures code and decode representations of blackness”; this layered, site-specific installation questions the idea of the art gallery as a neutral space. “White Room” is on view through Aug. 6 at Method Gallery, 106 Third Ave. S., Seattle (methodgallery.com).
‘The Visitor’ at Oxbow
In comparison to the more accumulative installations on this list, Dan Webb’s exhibition may seem spare. The single sculpture — a beautifully carved cloaked figure that emerges from, or rests against, a split log — acts as “The Visitor” to the space. Or maybe we’re the visitors, invited by Webb to pull up a chair and use the other objects he’s brought in: a table with plates, bowls and cups. Of course, Webb himself is a temporary inhabitant — the latest in a series of Oxbow artist residencies, resulting in site-specific installations. Webb will hold regular hours during the exhibition and will offer artist talks as “an invitation to participate in what the show is about: inclusion, conversation, relationships.” “The Visitor” is open through Aug. 26 at Oxbow, 6118 12th Ave. S., Seattle (oxbowseattle.com).