Outer Space 10, 2014
Acrylic on panel
12 × 9 inches
Desirée Holman’s work incorporates drawings, performance, video and sculpture into a world of fantasy that presents complex social groups, often in a state of change. Holman describes her work as attempting to “occupy British anthropologist Victor Turner’s notion of liminality, a transitional state of ritual wherein participants fully engaged in performance inhabit a series of new, hybrid identities.” Her body of work Sophont, whether through performance, video or drawing, captures these identities as they prepare for a utopian future from the esoteric knowledge and lived experiments of the past and present. The term sophont refers to an intelligent being, human or nonhuman, capable of extraordinary reasoning and introspection. It was first used in the science fiction of Poul Anderson to describe such beings. It is also associated with the term “sentient being,” meaning one with the ability to feel and perceive, which arises frequently in Buddhism.
DESIREE HOLMAN (b. 1974, Montgomery, Alabama)
Desirée Holman holds a Masters degree from the University of California at Berkeley. Earning critical acclaim for her work, Holman was awarded a San Francisco Modern Museum of Art SECA award in 2008 and in 2007 the Artadia: The Fund for Art and Dialogue award. From 2016-2017, she will be returning to SFMOMA as a fellow in the Film & Performance Department with a new works commission. Solo exhibitions of her work include the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles (2009), Montreal’s SKOL (2016), Denver’s Black Cube Nomadic Museum (2015), and the Berkeley Art Museum’s MATRIX program (2011). International exhibitions of Holman’s work include the Sao Paulo Museum of Modern Art, Berlin’s Kunstlerhaus Bethanien, Milan’s BnD, and Toronto’s YYZ. Reviews of Holman’s work appeared in numerous publications including Artforum, Los Angeles Times, NY Arts, Artillery, San Francisco Chronicle and Artweek. She is based in Oakland, California.