past exhibition
Malisa Humphrey
A Guest, A Host, A Ghost
9.13.2014























Malisa Humphrey
A Guest, A Host, A Ghost
Opening Reception Saturday, September 13, 7-11pm

“A Guest, A Host, A Ghost” is a sculptural installation featuring new work by Los Angeles-based artist Malisa Humphrey. Working with the persistent aesthetics of colonialism present in Orientalist interiors, Humphrey looks at the continuing role of “the other” as established in literature and art. Beginning with an interest in the Jim Thompson House, a tourist destination in Bangkok, Humphrey examines the myth of the expatriate seduced and absorbed by a foreign culture. Jim Thompson, the American founder of the Thai Silk Company, first introduced the aesthetic commonly associated with Thailand to the United States and Europe. While the Jim Thompson House offers multiple theories on Thompson’s mysterious disappearance during a walk in the jungle, they never mention his role as an active CIA agent protecting U.S. interests in South East Asia during the Cold War.

Looking at the construction of “the other” in the works of Jim Thompson, Joseph Conrad, Somerset Maugham, Graham Greene and Rudyard Kipling, as well as these cultural producers’ personal relationships to and involvement in outside military interests and empire, “A Guest, A Host, A Ghost” suggests that their work is not a disguise for military involvement, but a parallel act, two distinct functions of the same operation.

Malisa Humphrey received her MFA from the University of California, San Diego in 2005. Her work has screened and exhibited at the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, the Museum of Contemporary Art, La Jolla, the Hammer Museum, the Armory Center for the Arts and the Banff Centre for the Arts.