B R I A N   G I L L I S
When I was 18 I read The People’s History of the United States, and for the first time I really learned about Columbus. It was disorienting. My world was at once blown wide open and significantly more real. Something similar happened when I first learned about the Councils of Nicea, or who John Brown was, or where Southern California gets its water, who Halliburton’s subsidiaries are, how the Avenue Cribs became the original Crip set, or that Martin Luther King Jr. wore fake glasses because he thought they made him look more distinguished. This type of discovery, how it serves as a catalyst for a reconsideration of one's world, is the root of my practice.

Central to my work is the use of objects, images, and inference to excavate, archive, and chronicle stories that may have fallen on deaf ears, been buried over time, or simply obscured by something else. I’m interested in stories that have socio-cultural relevance and the ability to be personal on many levels to a variety of people so as to elicit rich social exchange and pique awareness, valuation, empathy, and introspection. My intent is to position the work as both an archive and a mine by simply laying out or exposing a story in such a way that the viewer completes a narrative loop based on the resources I present.