A Bay Area Curator Leaves Her Imprint Around the World with re.riddle, an Itinerant Gallery

Pegan Brooke,  Untitled , Multimedia Installation, Video Loop, Thread, 2017. Courtesy  re.riddle,  Copyright the artist.

Pegan Brooke, Untitled, Multimedia Installation, Video Loop, Thread, 2017. Courtesy re.riddle, Copyright the artist.

After years of working in the art world, Candace Huey, an independent curator who has worked variously for the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Bonham's auction house, and for several galleries in the Bay Area, decided that it was time to start her own project. Last May she launched re.riddle, a ‘traveling’ gallery that creates site-specific installations in cities around the world. Working with a diverse range of artists, including Summer Mei-Ling Lee, Mark Baugh-Sasaki, and Patricia Reinhart, re.riddle has staged exhibitions in San Francisco and Paris, with upcoming exhibitions in Chicago and London, among others. At If So, What? she’ll be exhibiting a series of works by gallery artists who examine or draw on the use of technology in our everyday lives. We had the  chance to speak with Huey about her gallery and her exhibition plans in the lead up to If So, What?

If So, What?: How did re.riddle get its start, and how did you decided to make the transition to running your own business full time?

Candace Huey: re.riddle is an itinerant gallery featuring site-specific exhibitions and installations in San Francisco, Paris, and London. We showcase contemporary artworks that are socially engaging, multidisciplinary, and aesthetically sophisticated. Our mission is to contribute to the discourse of contemporary art in thought provoking and playfully subversive ways, via the presentation of art in new modes of production, reception, and consumption. With an emphasis on the whimsical, re.riddle hopes to arouse curiosity and promote an awareness of art in its many forms within our daily surroundings.

After 15 years of being active in the arts industry, I felt it was time to start my own art gallery. I knew that I wanted a flexible model so that the artists I represented could engage with a diverse range of conceptual and spatial contexts. Although re.riddle is relatively “young,” we’ve already curated and produced exhibitions with artists Summer Mei-Ling Lee, Hongtao Zhou, Mark Baugh-Sasaki, Patricia Reinhart, Boris Labbé, Nathan Goldsmith, and Atelier YokYok. These shows took place in San Francisco and Paris; Forthcoming exhibitions in 2018 will be in Chicago, London, and the Périgord region of France.

ISW: What should visitors expect to see at your booth this week?

CH: re.riddle will feature select works by artists Pegan Brooke, Hongtao Zhou, and Mark Baugh-Sasaki that examine the application and implication of technology in our current society. Visitors will have the chance to experience Pegan Brooke’s Untitled, an interactive, multimedia art installation that explores the poetics of stillness, motion, and sound.   

ISW: In thinking about your exhibition for If So, What? how did you approach it differently than you might have for a different art fair or event?  

CH: Honoring our principle of artistic flexibility, re.riddle approaches each curatorial event anew. For ISW, I thought about the different ways in which the intersections between art, technology, and science might shape, augment, and/or modify the human experience. From this perspective, it made sense to design the booth space as more of an interactive, multidimensional, environment that would lend itself to different ways of viewer engagement.

Hongtao Zhou,  Folded Textscapes , 2018, Nylon, Wood. Courtesy  re.riddle,  Copyright the artist.

Hongtao Zhou, Folded Textscapes, 2018, Nylon, Wood. Courtesy re.riddle, Copyright the artist.

ISW: What aspects of your booth or artists that you are showing are you most excited about? Why do you think they will appeal to the If So, What? audience?

CH: Technically and formally speaking, Hongtao Zhou’s multimedia Textscapes exemplify the intersection between art and technology. Their optical play also provokes an unexpected whimsy that is less often associated with themes of art and technology. Beware! Are your eyes playing tricks on you?

Mark Baugh-Sasaki’s Smoke Drawings are breathtaking. They are also conceptual self-portraits of the artist. Each location where the ephemera was collected and incorporated into the drawing is significant to the artist’s experiences, memories, and personhood. For instance, Smoke Drawing II, is made up of Baugh-Sasaki’s body sweat, dust, pine needles, nails, and metal bolts collected during a specific day in the artist’s studio.

The strength of Pegan Brooke’s Untitled video installation lies in the way in which it engages the viewer in a multi-sensory experience. It compels us to take a pause while simultaneously sustaining "movement." That's all I will say for now -- I wouldn't want to give too much away. Come and experience it for yourself!

ISW: What appealed to you about If So, What?

ISW’s premise of being an immersive event about art with technology, sound and design, is exciting and relevant. re.riddle cares deeply about community, so I always look forward to seeing what other curators and art professionals are doing