Wimbley/Christion’s interdisciplinary artistic practice includes working with ambitious video/ digital installations and projections, ideally suited for the location and scale of the Digital Media Wall. Conceptually, both artists have experience working with the historical and/or state themed projects that reach a large audience, that challenge traditional fine arts practice/ presentation in the public sphere, and include an intersectional view point.
Public Project : Fieldnotes: Califia, 2021
Method and Medium:
As a collaborative, Wimbley/Christion are interested in the framework of histography to reflect the relationship between human and natural history in California. In particular, we wish to center the location of the Negro Bar State Park, a historic site named for African American gold miners during the 1849 California Gold Rush expanding outward to the Sacramento area and greater California. We use elements of performance, autobiographical, and anthropological to inform the aesthetic of the site-specific video installation Fieldnotes: Califia, 2021 created for the California Natural Resource Agency.
Still of Fieldnotes: Califia, 2021
The video collage is composed of archival imagery from the Sacramento Historical Society of the Negro Bar and Sacramento/greater California Community, sourced video footage, and video/photo imagery produced by the artist team at the Negro Bar State Park, Sacramento area, and artist home studio. Imagery is layered in framework to create dense multilayered remixing of video/ still imagery.
Queen Califia, a fictional character in which California received her namesake, played by Wimbley, is a central figure throughout the length of the video, navigating through a multilayered video collage of Californian history and landscape, (histography) centered on the location and history of the Negro Bar State Park, a historic site named for African American gold miners during the 1849 California Gold Rush.
Mural of Queen Calafia and her Amazon warriors at the Mark Hopkins Hotel in San Francisco by Maynard Dixon and Frank Von Sloun
The Unauthorized Histography of California Volume 1
Christion’s 2018 appropriated video collage, The Unauthorized Histography of California Volume 1, uses histography, a type of interactive time line which allows users to interface with views between decades to millions of years, as a framework to create dense multilayered remixing of video and audio media that start from the birth of California as a state, and then fuses into artist autobiographical history of California in the 1980’s. Queen Califia, a fictional character in which California received her namesake, serves as a figurative guide through this timeline, traversing historic flashes of the gold rush, white flight, and the LA Riot while unearthing admirable and regrettable eras and incidents in the California history
Wimbley's Fieldnotes exalts the groundbreaking research and documentary film footage contained in Zora Neale Hurston’s 1928 film, Fieldwork. Hurston (1891–1960) is best known for her creative writing, but she was also an anthropologist whose research was pioneering in its efforts to theorize the effects of the African diaspora. Hurston employed her anthropological fieldwork to debunk stereotypes about Black people and to dismiss the idea that Black cultures were inferior. In departing from convention in her choice of subject matter, Hurston radically proposed studying her own people––an idea that ran counter to anthropological method of the day. Wimbley’s work uses the autobiographical as site, documenting elements of life in Sacramento, CA.
General Overview and Interest:
Chris Christion and Jessica Wimbley are both artists/curators based in Sacramento, California.
Chris Christion has a hybrid of experiences as an artist, curator educator, and arts administrator. His work explores themes of history, identity, religion, and inherited social perceptions. He has exhibited throughout the US and Europe including the Chinese American Museum in Los Angeles, Chaffey College’s Wignall Museum of Contemporary Art, and the University of Dortmund, Germany. His work also appears in the critically acclaimed 2005 feature film “Me, You, and Everyone We Know.” Christion has recently exhibited his multimedia video works and installations in solo and group exhibitions as well as film festivals at Eastside International, Los Angeles, Steppling Art Gallery, SDSU, Imperial Valley Campus, Calexico, CA, and Every Day Epic, a Juneteenth Film
Program with Queer Film Continuum, Plaza District, & Nappy Roots in Tulsa, OK.
Jessica Wimbley received her BFA in Painting from Rhode Island School of Design, M.F.A in Visual Arts from the University of California, Davis, and her MA in Arts Management from Claremont Graduate University. She has been included in dozens of group shows across the country and has received critical reviews in Hyperallergic, Art and Cake, LA Weekly, Huffington Post, and the Los Angeles Times. Wimbley’s public art projects include, the “Social Justice Billboard Project” in collaboration with the Northeast Sculpture and Gallery Factory in Minneapolis, MN; her billboard Masking: Testament was installed near the corner of 38th and Chicago, the site of the George Floyd murder, and the recently completed Masking Series,2021 featuring video and still photography created in partnership with
the State of California and The Center at Sierra Health Foundation, to speak directly to Californians who have been hardest hit by COVID-19. Additionally, as part of The City of Sacramento’s “Your Actions Save Lives” Public Art Campaign, Wimbley’s large scale video work, Masking 2021, is located in Sacramento’s Arden Fair Mall and in Oak Park, Sacramento neighborhood billboard. Masking, 2021 has been featured in the Sac Bee, ABC News, and KCRA, with an ad campaign in 11 markets state wide which include print media, digital billboards, and a tv spot. Part of a curatorial team with artist/curator, Chris Christion, Wimbley has developed the curatorial project series Biomythography, with exhibitions in academic and non-profit art spaces in Southern California including Cerritos College, California Lutheran University, Eastside International, Los Angeles, University of La Verne, and Claremont Graduate University.