Alise Anderson: French Toast Saved My Life - Recology

Alise Anderson
French Toast Saved My Life

“In thinking about a title for my show…I’ve been thinking about how all of our experiences have changed in the last couple of years with the four walls that we find ourselves in. I think there’s certain things that you can find comfort in and I think breakfast food is pretty universally comforting.”

-Alise Anderson

Written by Weston Teruya

Alise Anderson investigates and celebrates the mundanity and absurdity of ordinary objects, creating carefully crafted and subtly humorous works that blur the line between functional & nonfunctional and investigate the social bonds between us as we live in community. In French Toast Saved My Life, a new installation of sculptures developed while in residence at Recology, Anderson presents a seemingly familiar domestic interior with reconstructed furnishings and decor that suggest a desire for human connection. Anderson infuses the household objects in the installation with a sense of care and artistic labor, shaping the sculptures through a series of hand fashioned processes: weaving together mini blind slats to create a screen and pulping found papers for a variety of pop colored papier-mâché structures, including a shelving unit, a fragment of flooring, and a clock gone awry, its numbers tumbled to the side. This working of materials, and the resulting objects that teeter on the edge of the familiar, compel us to consider the possible inhabitants of this space and the ways their relationship may have been built and maintained in layers over the years.

Two pieces of transmuted furniture anchor the installation and hint at the speculative residents’ nuanced dynamic. The first, a pair of chairs connected by a sculpted runner between their front legs would require those occupying the seats to sit in intimate proximity, but with one seat angled slightly askew, the chairs suggest one person’s unwillingness or inability to maintain direct eye contact. In the second piece, a table’s L-shaped feet have been turned inward, bracketing a space under the wooden top, giving a sense of relational ties tucked just under the surface. Taken as a whole, the works draw parallels between artistic and relational labor, both carried out with tenderness.

Alise Anderson received their BFA in New Genres from San Francisco Art Institute, studied Modern Dance Performance & Choreography at Utah Valley University, and received a certificate in Directing and Producing from Berkeley Digital Film Institute. They have been an artist-in-residence at the San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles and was recognized through Outstanding Student awards from the new genres and sculpture departments at SFAI.