Through April 23
Diedrick Brackens’ current show at Johansson Projects (2300 Telegraph Ave.), entitled This Is Real Life, includes a piece called “10-79” — the police code to notify the coroner. It’s a long, woven tapestry with worn blue, green, and orange stripes running down it. There are white hand marks bleached onto the weaving, with fingers outstretched as if held in the air, or forced onto the sidewalk. The bleach is wiped across the tapestry like the remnants of a struggle. And deep red marks are woven into its stripes, dotting them like open wounds, with extra threads dangling like drops of blood. Brackens’ show features eleven of these woven artworks, which take aesthetic cues from European tapestry, West African weavings, and Southern quilts. Functioning somewhere between painting and sculpture, his weavings take up a technical language of their own that frees the medium from the boundaries of domesticity. Not all of the pieces are as political as “10-79.” Most are much more subtle, defying clear representation. In these, the colors and patterns speak loudest, appearing almost haphazardly, like accidental spilled dye. Brackens manages to imbue a sense of spontaneity in each textile that reimagines the work of a weaver.