CSA
Vancouver
March 5 - April 5, 2015
Curated by Steffanie Ling
All photos Dennis Ha

"Towards the end of his life, Mark Twain endured the deaths of his wife and two of his daughters. To combat his depression, Twain began to befriend girls aged 10- 16, daughters of couples he met during trips to Bermuda for his waning health. He treated his newfound company as surrogate granddaughters, and called them his Angel Fish, after the first fish that he saw in the tropics. After a period of exchanging letters, Clemens moved into his new villa in Redding, Connecticut—Innocence at Home—where Twain established the Aquarium Club for his “angel fish”, a collection of “dear young creatures to whom life is a perfect joy and to whom it has brought no wounds, no bitterness and few tears...gems of the first water.”

The exhibition Innocence at Home, titled after Twain’s estate, uses a billiard room-cum-Aquarium Club as structure to convene these usually un-intersecting settings, gathered by the notion of the Aquarium Club as a prototypical recreation room. Here, Twain would entertain his “Angel Fish”. Their portraits were displayed in this room where they played cards, billiards and read. Shortly after Twain’s remaining daughter Clara Clemens returned from her travels in Europe to find her father keeping the company of schoolgirls, she renamed the estate Stormfield, which she ironically though more accurately described the last years of her father’s life, perceived with familial tumult and disintegrating liveliness. What ultimately follows the Aquarium Club, is a drained fish tank. This becomes the compositional diagram within which to display paintings and other spatial accoutrements that evoke these settings; a billiard bar, an aquarium, and Twain’s estate."

-Tiziana La Melia & Steffanie Ling

Full text available soon in forthcoming book with Publication Studio

flashe, chalk pastel, aluminum
SimpleSincereFrank&Straightforward: flashe, chalk pastel, aluminum


 


 


Installation view, heater, mp3 

flashe, aluminum, LED tape
No Sweat, My Pet, Don't Fret: flashe, aluminum, LED tape

flashe, watercolour, aluminum
Bermuda Girl: flashe, watercolour, aluminum


Installation View 


Installation View 

Watercolour, flashe, aluminum
Innocent Oyster: Watercolour, flashe, aluminum

Shoe polish, flashe, aluminum, LED tape
Worry Lines: Shoe polish, flashe, aluminum, LED tape

flashe, chalk pastel, aluminum
Strawberry thinking housecoat sketc: flashe, chalk pastel, aluminum

flashe, watercolour, aluminum
Thin Bubble Spit: flashe, watercolour, aluminum

PVC pipe
Adrian: PVC pipe