Beth Krebs is an interdisciplinary artist whose work includes site responsive installations, video, sculpture, drawing, sound, and participatory exchanges. She recently exhibited a sculptural installation at Recology San Francisco (the dump), at the conclusion of her four-month residency on site. A graduate of the MFA program at Rutgers University, Beth has exhibited her work in New York, San Francisco and abroad, and has been awarded residencies at the MacDowell Colony, Jentel, the Bemis Center, and Willapa Bay. She is a recipient of a Joan Mitchell Foundation MFA grant, and in 2012 was awarded a grant to fund an installation in Germany. Beth is a long time arts educator who enjoys setting up supportive structures that children and adults can more easily step into. She lives in Oakland, California.
My work celebrates the earnest, heroic, and usually botched human efforts at transcendence. I address this subject, with humor and empathy, by transforming physical spaces and by making sculptural objects, videos, and drawings
One project, Spangled, began in response to my own wavering optimism entering middle age, in a country marked by growing inequality. It features Anthem, a motivational video set to a faltering marching band arrangement of “Don’t Stop Believin’ (the 80’s rock song by the band, Journey). Clad in a sequined uniform that might flatter a younger person, I perform a flag routine set in increasingly fanciful scenarios. In the stop motion animation, Come on Down! a string of pennant flags flaps like a chorus line in time to The Price is Right theme song. The upbeat tune starts to wear as it loops again and again. Spangled contrasts the bedazzling promise of consumer satisfaction with the hard won, systematic work of creating meaningful change.
A recent installation, Candy Land, is made from materials pulled from the trash at the San Francisco dump. Constructed from nauseating quantities of packaging material, it considers the seductive and troubling nature of the stuff we buy, and the impact that our insatiable need for convenience has on the environment. Sculptures constructed from colorful plastic parts perch on stacks of polystyrene coolers like creatures on an Arctic ice floe
Each of my projects reaches for something miraculous while firmly tethered to what is here, real, and often humbling. My work champions a susceptibility to hope, which despite our imperfect efforts, or perhaps because of them, still hovers.