Wk 9- Artist Conversation- Vanessa Olivarez

Exhibition Information

Artist: Vanessa Olivarez

Exhibition: Don’t Be Careful, Be Gentle.

Media: Film, Acrylic Glass, Robotics.

Gallery: CSULB School of Art: Dennis W. Dutzi Gallery

Website: tokioni.com

Instagram: @tokioni

About the Artist

Vanessa Olivarez is a Senior at CSULB’s School of Art and is pursuing a BFA in Sculpture. Her website is a small online business where she sells replicable art pieces that demonstrate her style. She looks to continue her art career passionately and looks to continue displaying her work in galleries not just at CSULB but out of state.

Formal Analysis

Film Projection: The films would project images and they would alternate as one played the other showed a cartoon silhouette of  two girls with identical shapes and same colors but opposite color orientation with  a ring that connects them both. Two projectors were utilized to provide the films on opposite sides of the walls.


The See-Saw: In the center of both of the film projections there was a see saw that had 3 predetermined states; level, left and right. The See-Saw operated autonomously using a bread board and a small servo motor. The See-Saw was constructed entirely of acrylic glass, the transparency and the fact that a see saw is a children’s playground toy gave it a very innocent feel and balanced the powerful images in the projection.


Film on Screen: The computer monitor played a film that showed objects and scenes that one would see in everyday life. The monitor was made of clear plastic allowing us to see inside the circuitry. However in front of the monitor was a acrylic glass staircase and the angles made for an intense glare making the film very hard to see.

Lighting/Room: Unlike traditional art galleries where the pieces are placed on a spot light this exhibition lit the entire room with a purple-red. The door of the exhibition was blocked by a curtain to block outside light intensifying the multiple red-purple lights. The use of multiple lights and transparent sculptures virtually eliminated shadows created by the work itself.

Content Analysis

Film Projection: The Films were on opposite sides because they had opposite themes but yet they intertwined. The film projected on the left hand side had a theme of loneliness the emotional toll that is felt when one is alone and feel that no one is there for you. On the other hand the right wall had a film that showed contentment with being alone, the acceptance that no one will be there fore you like you are. That no one is needed but yourself. They both are about when one is alone but have completely diffrent ways of looking at the same thing.

The See-Saw: The transparent automated see-saw was placed in the center and would change position because it was the balance between the two feelings. It was what dictated wether to see the film as half empty of half full. The see saw picked no sides being in the center and never changed color, or shape but it could change your whole perspective on the way it leaned.

Film on Screen: The film showed things that one sees on a daily basis such as a house but it was placed behind a glass staircase because it demonstrated obstacles that filter your perception of the world and can distort what you are viewing. And the diffrent images with varying brightnesses would change the way the filter that you can not see. Just because the thing that is right in front of you and you can not look at it without looking through it does not mean that it will affect what you are seeing.

Lighting/Room: The room was lit by a purple-red light and this was set in place to give the feel that you are in a fantasy looking at something more within your mind. Hypnotizing the viewer by having you walk into a monochromatic room where the sculptures cast no shadow and you can see through what is in front of you.

   Synthesis/ My Experience

The exhibition instantly reminded me of Erikson’s stages of phycological development; intimacy v.s. isolation begins in early adulthood and this is a artist interpretation of it. I could not think of a better setting than on a college campus for the exhibition as most are seeking to find a partner and when failure to do so get caught between the two feelings in the films, loneliness or empowered by being alone. And it can be a dark place to be for many and a tiring cycle to be in. While feeling alone many can find comfort that they are not alone in the constant battle wether to work hard to find someone who supports you or setting your self apart and work on empowering yourself. Although that is a strong message the conversation created by the exhibition is the categorization of individuals. We are all diffrent we are all unique and it has always frustrated me that most of society, wants to categorize people into groups. For this false creation is why loneliness exists. When wanting group individuals it leaves to many in gaps and holes where they do not fall cleanly. Not falling in a category the way society wants you to is what creates the feeling of being alone and is what causes one to consider being isolated and away (you can be alone if that is the person you are but you don’t have to feel bad for wanting to be so and people wont nag you for being you and staying where you like to be.) There is a balance and everyone falls in a spectrum of personalities we must stop treating human qualities as binary code, we possess qualities at diffrent levels and even vary from day to day we must accept that we are all diffrent to begin to accept ourselves.



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