Oakland artist Sarah Hirneisen specializes in canopies gridded with glass envelopes. Often, her brittle cell-like packets are filled with dirt. She includes one such crazy quilt in her new exhibit "A Fragile Place." The soil samples bear filigreed cursive labels like "Kabul" and "Fallujah." Hirneisen sent care packages to U.S. soldiers; they sent back earth and included notes with their pertinent data: "2 months into an 18 month tour of duty." Interestingly, the dirt glass tapestries don't catch your eye at first. Nor do the Islamic prayer rugs, oriented toward Mecca and rendered in glass light boxes, highlighting the cracks created when someone dropped to their knees. Not even the delicate web of bullet casings with slim blades of brave grass growing from them catch your attention right away. What does: two Levantine reliquaries, holding thousands of tiny glass vials lit to show that some glow golden and some amber. Some refuse the light completely and stay black.
Sept. 6-Oct. 19, 2007