Julia Haft-Candell: The Yet To Be
September 23 – December 8, 2023
Julia Haft-Candell: The Yet To Be
The interdisciplinary work of artist Julia Haft-Candell comprises ceramic and bronze sculptures, drawings and paintings, and installation. Her evolving entity known as The Infinite is an alternative world with its own, values, ethics, and visual language; all documented in The Infinite: Glossary of Terms and Symbols. The Infinite seeks to produce forms of knowledge unconstrained by conventional systems or classifications, while referencing ancient structures of communication. This ethos is reflected in The Infinite School, the experimental art school that she runs from her studio, which seeks to produce alternative forms of knowledge that challenge conventional institutional practices and pedagogies.
The Infinite is central to the exhibition at Pitzer College Art Galleries and unravels across two sites titled The Yet To Be—Part 1: Hands/Feelers and Part 2: The Infinite Library. The ceramic works in Part 1: Hands/Feelers manifest hands interlocking with motifs of knots, chains, and infinity symbols carved onto their surface. These works articulate her evolving Glossary and are explored in image and text-based drawings and a stop-motion animation. Part 2: The Infinite Library formulates a participatory space. Shelving doubles as seating and is stocked with books selected by over forty-five artists. Functioning as a respite for collective and solitary contemplation, with the generative ethos of The Infinite, the library will host readings, discussions, and conversations on art theory and practice, science fiction and craft, as well as building alternative frameworks throughout the exhibition. A third component of the exhibition, taking the form of an archive documenting the history, philosophy, and work of The Infinite School, further elucidates Haft-Candell’s conception of The Infinite.
Included in The Infinite Library are two central texts inspirational to Haft-Candell’s thinking—Octavia Butler’s post-apocalyptical novel The Parable of the Sower (1993) and Ursula K. Le Guin’s visionary essay The Carrier Bag Theory of Fiction (1986). In Butler’s future, dramatically impacted by climate change, the protagonist goes in search of Earthseed, a religion whose God shape-shifts through individual worship. While Butler reimagines the future, Le Guin reinterprets the human origin story by replacing the spear as the first tool with a carrier bag—for gathering and distributing food, objects, and stories for sharing—attributing community building as foundational rather than singular (heroic) aggression. In privileging storytelling as a creative force, Le Guin reminds us, as Donna Haraway has remarked, that “it matters what stories we tell to tell other stories with; it matters what concepts we think to think other concepts with,” values embedded in Haft-Candell’s The Infinite.
 Donna Haraway, “Introduction,” in Ursula K. Le Guin, The Carrier Bag Theory of Fiction (London: Ignota, 2019), 10.
This exhibition is generously supported by the Pitzer College Ceramics Studio and Residency; CANDICE MADEY, New York; and Night Gallery, Los Angeles.
Julia Haft-Candell will give an artist talk in Nichols Gallery, December 2, at 11:00 am.
About the artist:
Julia Haft-Candell (b. Oakland, CA, 1982) has presented solo exhibitions at Night Gallery, Los Angeles, CA; CANDICE MADEY, New York, NY; and Parrasch Heijnen Gallery, Los Angeles, CA, among other galleries. The artist has participated in group exhibitions at Morán Morán, Los Angeles, CA; Klaus von Nichtssagend Gallery, New York, NY; Scripps College, Claremont, CA; LA Louver, Los Angeles, CA, and other galleries and institutions. She has received grants and residencies from Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation, New York, NY; Yaddo Corporation Saratoga Springs, NY; and California Community Foundation, Los Angeles, CA, along with other national and international organizations. The artist also runs The Infinite School, a ceramics education program, in Los Angeles, CA. In fall 2023, Haft-Candell will open solo presentations at Pitzer College Art Galleries, Claremont, CA and Night Gallery, Los Angeles, CA.
Julia Haft-Candell: The Yet To Be is curated by Ciara Ennis, Director and Curator of Pitzer College Art Galleries. Ennis received a PhD in Cultural Studies and Museum Studies from Claremont Graduate University and an MA in Visual Arts Administration, Curating, and Commissioning Contemporary Art from the Royal College of Art, London.
Sat., Sept. 23, 2023
2:00 – 4:00 p.m.
Sept. 23 – Dec. 8, 2023
Hours: Tuesday – Saturday, 12 – 5 pm.