Permutations 4x6 to print.jpg

Justino Loza Gomez

Randi Hokett

Iain Muirhead

Michael Nannery

Tu Nguyen


December 1 — 15, 2018
Gallery Two

Curated by Joshua Oduga & Stephanie Sherwood

Permutations is an intimate curatorial project conceived around the notion of change and explores the practices of five artists who embrace change in their studio practices. The works in Permutations wield their mediums and inhabit their shared space in unique and individual ways. Some works, such as those by Justino Loza Gomez, exist outside the museum walls. Others evolve throughout the lifespan of the exhibition. The ethereal natures of all these works afford for powerful statements on the cycle of life and allow us to consider them as living beings. Permutations asks its visitors to consider the life of these works—the entire lives of all the works included—and how this life informs understandings of the comprising artists. Anyone who has experienced artworks by Andy Goldworthy or Ana Mendieta, in person or through documentation, can understand the impact of these temporary and powerful visual statements. For instance, “Spiral Jetty” by Robert Smithson holds a mythical status in the history of contemporary art. Though made of stone(s), its placement in the shallows of the Great Salt Lake means that it disappears and reappears over time through the rise and fall of the lake’s water level. Many go to great lengths to pilgrimage to its fairly isolated location.

Permutations’ curators, Joshua Oduga and Stephanie Sherwood, processually embraced change through the exhibition’s conceptual development. For them, the emergent discovery that this show would not be about death but about life was a wonderful one. Life and death are about change and new unfoldings. Permutations directs its visitors through it with the hopes that they too have wonderful discoveries. The show’s ever-changing appearance asks its audience to visit and revisit it more than once.


Justino Loza Gomez, Excess Of Sorrow Laughs. Excess Of Joy Weeps, 2018

justino loza gomez

Justino Loza Gomez has always considered the streets of the city to be his studio. A student of philosophy, he creates works that comment on their surroundings. The work included as a part of Permutations, Excess Of Sorrow Laughs.  Excess Of Joy Weeps, is a part of his series The Consecration of Gratitude—a series of site-specific installations of astrologically significant constellations constructed using chewing gum, dirt and cement. These works, including that in the exhibition, exist outside of the museum, off of its walls and can be found through the digital maps and global positioning coordinates included in exhibition materials.


Randi Hockett

Randi Hockett has developed a robust practice by creating wall-hanging works incorporating crystals grown from various compounds on the works themselves. Works in Permutations come from the series Mineral Paintings. This series are works on paper undergoing dramatic chemical changes over time that change their color and texture. Also included is a work on canvas that utilizes epsom salts that drop away over time.


Iain Muirhead

Iain Muirhead makes work that seeks possibility in a world of massive change. It embodies life in flux and choices sparked by immediacy. He sees his studio as an engine for obsessive material iteration, an investigative process that works through three formal elements: the grid, confounding figure-ground relationships and the frame and what might be beyond it.

He uses paint, objects, photography, installation and video to chase an ungrounded figure-form and space. He thinks of his work in terms of composting—that things are disintegrating and reconfiguring into a new, generative substance—and proposes his art as a way to see the world. His art reveals the world reflectively through networks of auto-productive spaces of perpetual collaboration between the human and non-human.

Iain has developed these site-specific wire structures filled with detritus in response to TAM and its Torrance environs. He has created the objects in the series these works are from based on data collected about various neighborhoods and communities that they reflect. The works in Permutations are composed of detritus that he has collected in Torrance and especially around the Museum.

Michael Nannery -dried_peppermint (1).jpg

michael nannery

Michael Nannery’s contribution to Permutation takes the form of an assortment of fresh aromatics and herbs arranged in a ten-foot spiral across the center of the gallery floor. The materials were harvested immediately before the opening of the show and fill the gallery with their combined fragrances. The plants dry over the course of the exhibition, and their scents become less and less effusive. Visitors are encouraged to touch and smell the herbs. Later in the show run, visitors will need to touch and interact with the plant materials to activate them, and during the last day of the show they can take bits of the aromatics home with them.

All of the aromatics included in the work are edible as herbal infusion or culinary addition. The herb spiral serves both to reference a popular home garden composition and to create an iconic pathway on which visitors may travel to the center of the gallery. The hope is that visitors understand this installation as an exploration of the process of drying and preserving herbs and interacting with visitors, offering them the opportunity to bring the experience home with them in different ways.


Tu Nguyen, Chair, 2018

Tu Nguyen

Tu Nguyen creates installation works, performances and photographs to explore the forms that memory, decay and delicacy take. She explores the cyclical way these occur and reoccur. Many of her works decay and disappear throughout the run of their exhibition.