Ever in search of the miraculous, Carissa Potter’s Hold Me Like Before is an investigation into the realm of therapy and self-betterment performed in collaboration with visitors to the Royal NoneSuch Gallery. Harnessing the power of objects, installations and live events, Potter leads visitors in employing a variety of methods to provide solace, reassurance and to project a better future. Hold Me Like Before considers the psychology of our relationship to objects and the ability for objects to trigger experiential responses to smells, moods, and tactile memories. For a part of the exhibition, artist and collaborator Kate Pruitt http://www.katepruitt.com/ Visitors were invited to try out the somatic experience of tying repetitive knots, contributing to the growth of a large-scale rope bracelet which hung on the wall. The accompanying audio is a looped recording of Kate tying the first collection of knots on the bracelet in her studio. (This was the best part of the show in my opinion. You should check out Kate's work. It is super amazing.)
During the exhibition's opening reception, visitors were invited to collaborate in the piece “Something To Look Forward To” by creating an energy object embedded with their highest hopes for the future. The resulting objects were on display for the remainder of the exhibition and then mailed to each collaborator after the show's conclusion.
The gallery also hosted "Feel Better Now," an art hypnosis session led by Carissa Potter. In Alain de Botton's publication “Art as Therapy,” the author theorizes that people should feel better after viewing art. For this event, willing participants underwent hypnosis in the hopes that after the session they would leave the event feeling perhaps just a little bit better.
Royal None Such Gallery, Oakland, CA, 2014