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Domestic Insecurity 

When: July 1-12 2008

In Claudia Tennyson's recent Repair Project, the artist effected ironic enhancements to limping everyday objects submitted by viewers: a knitted cozy for a careworn globe, for example. At Chandra Cerrito Contemporary, she has taken on the thousand natural (or otherwise) shocks crowding the headlines these days, from terror alerts to fires, floods, earthquakes, tornados, and tsunamis. Civil Defense here takes on the homely aspect of frugal housewifery. An apron sports soldierly camouflage. A dresser becomes the portable container for tiny mattresses snugged into its drawers that redeploy into an emergency bed. A shelf holds variously colored bottles of Awareness, Calm, and Awe, and, yes, liquid Courage is on reserve, too. Framed, embroidered depictions of avalanches, mudslides, shipwrecks, droughts and volcanic eruptions are partly grannyish samplers and partly merit badges for dangers confronted, at least psychically. It's absurd, but therapeutic, though not apparently apotropaic. Domestic Insecurityruns through July 12 at Chandra Cerrito Contemporary (25 Grand Ave., Oakland). ChandraCerrito.com/ccc or 415-577-7537.


— DeWitt Cheng

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