Video of 2012 Retrospective Exhibition Now Online!

The Sonya Rapoport Legacy Trust is pleased to make public the video documentation of “Spaces of Life: The Art of Sonya Rapoport,” curated by Terri Cohn and Anuradha Vikram at Mills College Art Museum in 2012.

Exhibition Statement

“Spaces of Life: The Art of Sonya Rapoport” was curated by Terri Cohn and Anuradha Vikram at Mills College Art Museum in 2012. The exhibition presented a group of Rapoport’s interactive works, created between 1979–2011 that function in the intersection between questioning and inviting.

Recognized for her early embrace of computer technology, in the mid 1970’s, and participatory web-based works, Rapoport presents new works alongside earlier ones in an all encompassing installation that fuses the spaces of the museum with the energy of the artist’s Berkeley home and studio. Rapoport’s work has long operated as a bridge between the public sphere of intellectual curiosity and scholarship and the domestic one of spiritual inquiry and nurturing.

Central to the installation of Rapoport’s work at the Mills College Art Museum is Objects on My Dresser (1979–1983), an 11-phase work intended as a kind of conceptual visit to the artist’s home and studio. The titular dresser, which has occupied Rapoport’s foyer for decades, is installed along with the original objects that sparked her investigation of the connections between symbols, words and ideas. Documentation of “netweb plots” created by Rapoport and by visitors to installations of previous project phases is included along with new plots created with Mills students and museum visitors. Rapoport’s work continues to be influenced by a range of disciplines including technology, biochemistry, anthropology, psychology, and feminist studies. Visitors to Spaces of Life are encouraged to engage in ongoing, distributed performance actions that draw on these influences and related imagery.

Sonya Rapoport’s sixty-year career spans painting, works on paper, interactive installations and digital works. Rapoport’s approach to art-making is naturally diverse, underpinned by her pioneering use of scientific and social science research as the basis for a conceptual practice. Her work reveals deep philosophical and psychological perspectives, humor, expression, and creativity, which she brings to such topical concerns as gender, religion, politics, bioengineering, and the role of technology in contemporary life explored through interactive processes, systems and media.