Last weekend, after I ventured through the CalArts MFA graduate show, I took a stroll down 5th Street and happened to walk into a neighboring gallery. As I entered the space, darkness and eerie, illuminating light met my eyes.
However, looking closer at the wavering light, I saw it was video footage of little leaves, trees, and blue sky. The video was then projected against white wooden household elements such as a window and a staircase. The touch of nature gave me a sense of calm and even familiarity—it was something so real, yet its digital quality made it ephemeral and almost imaginative.
It was “home”—Mia Babalis’ current exhibition at the Deborah Martin Gallery.
“Home for me is where everyone I love lives,” explained Babalis in a recent email interview, “the idea that I had a home enabled me to go anywhere with a sense of freedom and confidence, because I knew I had a home to come back to.”
As a former modern dancer in New York City, Babalis traveled all over, performing with Alvin Ailey, Ballet Hispanico, Lar Lubovitch, and Mikhail Baryshnikov. So is the life of a dancer—stage is the home. Today, Babalis finds herself in Santa Monica and still in the arts, but using the mediums of installation and video rather than music and choreography.
“I hope [“home”] will provide a place to remember and connect to [the viewer’s] experience of home,(present and past.),” said Babalis of her show, “I didn't want to make a rosy picture, but one that included dark corners, so to speak. This is what makes life beautiful.”
“home” is on view at the Deborah Martin Gallery until July 3 (http://www.deborahmartingallery.com/exhibits.html).