Torpor: Glasswork by Jaime Guerrero

Milly and Fritz Kaeser Mestrovic Studio Gallery September 29–December 8, 2013

California artist, Jaime Guerrero, chose the title, Torpor, for this installation of handblown and sculpted glass artworks. The essay for the illustrated exhibition brochure written by Virginia Dofflemyer, associate professor of visual studies, California College of the Arts, Oakland, California, explains the title choice as follows:

Torpor… describes the periodic hibernation pattern of the hummingbird that enables it to survive. When active this bird typically maintains normal body temperature and movement; but in periods of torpor their metabolic rate and body temperature drops significantly, thus enabling this warrior-bird to conserve energy, to regenerate. It is this state of survival that the present body of Jaime Guerrero’s work explores.  What does it mean? What aspects of this state are instinctual and what aspects require conscious awareness and commitment? Is this behavior an individual process or does it require cooperation across the species, an inter-dependence of humans, animal, and plant realms?

Guerrero’s various works in the exhibition explore the metaphor of this energy saving inactivity and subsequent awakening to comment on culture, identity, economics, agriculture and the artist’s craft in today’s society.