Forthcoming: Jennie Ottinger

The Best Friend reading one of Ms. Ottinger's Books

At the beginning of the month, I posted a few photos I took at the Oakland Art Murmur. Jennie Ottinger’s show, Due By: Book show by Jennie Ottinger, at the Johansson Projects (JP) Art Gallery was my introduction to her work. Since JP is one of my favorite galleries in the Easy Bay, I usually prolong my visit and make multiple trips back to the space during the Art Murmur. Due By was one of those shows I couldn’t get enough of. I found it rather difficult to leave. As you can see from the photo, patrons were allowed to open the books. Interestingly enough, there were no signs or persons encouraging or discouraging the participation but it just made sense. What do you do when you see a book? You open it. Whether or not it has pretty pictures, that’s the nature of book – to be opened. Then, to illuminate or share a story. Jennie Ottinger, certainly, did just that with her work.

I wanted to take some time to write and let you know that I’ve got something in the works regarding Ms. Ottinger’s work and art practice. Her witty and clever take on literature classics is not only an innovative approach at engagement with the viewer, it is a meshing of many art practices into one that is worth the inquiry and the discovery (if you are new to her work). I’ll explain later…I promise.

First impression: Clever, witty, fantastic and engaging story-teller, well read (literally), prolific, lover of words and language

Lasting impression: Worth the time but wondering where she will go next…I’m hoping to find out!

Books and Paintings make an amazing combination!
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Author: Dorothy R. Santos

Dorothy R. Santos (b. 1978) is a Filipina-American writer, editor, curator, and educator whose research interests include new media and digital art, activism, artificial intelligence, and biotechnology. Born and raised in San Francisco, California, she holds Bachelor’s degrees in Philosophy and Psychology from the University of San Francisco, and received her Master’s degree in Visual and Critical Studies at the California College of the Arts. She serves as one of the editors-in-chief for Hyphen magazine. Her work appears in art21, Art Practical, Daily Serving, Rhizome, Hyperallergic, and SF MOMA's Open Space. She has lectured at the De Young museum, Stanford University, School of Visual Arts, and more. Her essay “Materiality to Machines: Manufacturing the Organic and Hypotheses for Future Imaginings,” was published in The Routledge Companion to Biology in Art and Architecture (2016). She is currently a Yerba Buena Center for the Arts fellow researching the concept of citizenship. She also serves as executive staff for the Bay Area Society for Art & Activism and board member for the SOMArts Cultural Center.

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