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Wednesday, Aug 22 2012
You don't have to be a polar bear trapped on a melting ice floe to feel the affects of climate change going on right now. Even here in our foggy Bay Area, the summers seem hotter and the winters colder. With so much craziness in the weather outside, it can be tempting to just retreat into our homes and hunker down, blasting the heat or the A/C as needed. Local artist Mark Benson addresses these attempts to regulate our comfort levels in his solo show "Get the Flu." The recent CCA M.F.A. grad creates witty sculptural installations out of working space heaters and air conditioners, stacking the units on top of its own box or tilting them at a jaunty angle. For the exhibition all of the machines are turned on full power, generating pockets of extreme heat and cold within the gallery itself and subtly pointing out the connection between energy consumption and global warming. Visitors move through the space, testing out their endurance to the different temperature zones. At tonight's opening, Benson questions our control of our internal environments as well as the external by enlisting a registered nurse to hand out flu shots, rewarding those brave enough to get jabbed on the spot with a certificate of authenticity. Just be cautious about mixing your limited-edition inoculation with your PBR.
Sept. 1-27, 2012

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Heidi De Vries

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