An exhibition titled Unity in Variety is currently on display in Balboa Park at the Institute of Contemporary Art San Diego.
Mexican artist Gabriel Rico has assembled objects related to a coastal desert estuary setting.
Walking around the floor of the museum gallery is like walking through a strange dreamscape of scattered symbols. Animals living and dead, stones, bones, faces, apparitions from the past, trash, a variety of abstract figures and forms stand or lie on sand by the unseen water.
Human artifacts, contemporary issues and disturbing images seem more prominent than nature’s beauty. The estuary imagined appears to be one in an urban setting.
Neon symbols dangling from the ceiling include vowels, numbers, the five senses and essential geometric shapes. They are common to every mind, but each experience of life is unique.
According to the exhibition’s description, the collected “objects are not meant to be considered individually rather experienced as a unified whole.” The art is provocative and raises questions differently in the mind of every viewer. Who are we? Where do we live and how do we live?
Does this gallery seem oddly familiar to your eyes? The Institute of Contemporary Art San Diego is a recent fusion of two organizations: the LUX Art Institute and the San Diego Art Institute. The latter used to occupy this same space inside Balboa Park’s House of Charm.
If you like to think about the world you live in, and perhaps in unexpected ways, Unity in Variety will give you pause. Like a stirring dream that lingers.
The exhibition runs through February 27, 2022.