Skip to Content (Press Enter)

Kim Zumpfe: outside the length of a room | OR | diving into the blue sun

Kim Zumpfe
outside the length of a room | OR | diving into the blue sun
May 5 – September 9, 2018
Opening Reception: May 5 from 7-10pm

blue abstract background with wood stud housing structure superimposed on top

Kim Zumpfe ‘s site-specific installation outside the length of a room | OR | diving into the blue sun engages with notions of safe spaces. These spaces, however, are contingent – they depend on the individual, the conditions of the moment, and the realities, or perceived realities, of specific life circumstances.

For most people, built structures and architecture provide stability, shelter, and protection. These above ground structures inhabit the surface of our world, a world in which we are typically comfortable. Subterranean spaces, in contrast, conjure thoughts of vulnerability, the fugitive, or perhaps fantasy. Zumpfe’s installation is a distinctive re-alignment of space, working to confront complex relationships and norms of society. Zumpfe creates a transitional structure for control over one’s visibility: hiding, avoidance, evasion, escape and other strategies used to counteract coercive social and political relations.

The artist’s subterranean construct offers a temporary retreat from the surface, illuminated by blue suns and resting cushions. These cushions are designed using images of hardware that were submitted and mostly rejected as potential safe designs for use within prisons – attempts to prevent harm to self and others. The raised floor, openly on view from the interior and exterior perspectives, is occupied with stripped down, unfinished constructs of domesticity. Zumpfe invites visitors to engage with space through a multitude of shared social gestures – lying down or resting, having tea or eating, ascending or descending. This engagement serves as a reminder that in reality, singular actions always take place in a context of others.

Spatial relationships create real consequences in our lives. Zumpfe likens this idea to supercolliders generating what has been hypothesized as infinite tiny black holes, which provide possibilities of a split in space or a split in time – the development of parallel experiences and alternate spaces of comfort and tension.

Ultimately the work prompts us to question, are we all in this together?


Kim Zumpfe is an artist and educator who lives and works in California. Through individual and collaborative work, the built environment is resituated as a way to address the deep entwinement between materials, space, and sociality as models of relations. Experimental forms of participation are organized as a way to explore and expand how intersections of knowledge are formed beyond the individual. Primarily working in installation, she considers how objects, images, video, performance, and space can create possibilities of encounters where there might be a collapse of identity, intimacy, and systems of influence. Zumpfe works to create alternate possibilities in the order of things through working with architectures that engage with space as a psychology and qualities of bent time(s) including the provisional, unstable, and illegible.

Zumpfe’s work has been exhibited at Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (LACE), Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, Diverseworks Houston, Hammer Museum, Human Resources Los Angeles, Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (LACA), UCR Culver Center for the Arts Riverside, University Art Gallery Irvine, and several public and online sites.