Archive for April, 2008

Dance Anywhere

04.29.2008  |  By
Filed under: 151 3rd

Last Friday at noon, an attractive couple of museum visitors dressed in gray suddenly took off their shoes and performed what turned out to be a pretty spectacular and moving guerrilla dance duet, to the surprise of the handful of people who happened to also be in the Atrium in the middle of a sunny workday.

We were tipped off the day before by a post at SFist. A few more pictures are here; if I can figure out how to get the video off of the camera, we’ll post a clip up tomorrow. In the meantime, here’s what Kara Davis, dancer and choreographer, had to say about the piece and why they wanted to do this in our Atrium:

Hi Suzanne! this week is National Dance Week and that particular duet just happens to be nominated this year for an Isadora Duncan Award – the ceremony of which is this Monday at the YBCA forum. Anyway, my partner Nol and I were participating in a festival called “Dance Anywhere” which is organized by a woman named Beth Fein. Dancers from all... More

Small Wars

04.25.2008  |  By
Filed under: One on One

[In what will become a regular feature, we’ll invite a local writer, artist, visitor, or observer to respond in whatever manner they choose (given the limits of blog-hosting technology) to an exhibition, public program, film, or object on view. In this first installment, poet Eleni Stecopoulos reflects on the An-My Lê exhibition, Small Wars,... More


04.23.2008  |  By
Filed under: 151 3rd, Back Page

Gentle reader, this is Tammy.

I was excited to learn that SFMOMA was building a sculpture garden on its garage roof. I imagined it—an elaborate place where whiskey rivers would meet the charm and class of chocolate fountains, black light paintings, giant sculptures of tiny Hummel figurines, maybe a maze made out of hedges and a Minotaur!?

But, (sigh)—mass destruction is the prelude to constructing such a place. Elaborate scaffolding was established, walls knocked out, construction crews poured cement into kiddie pools, and life-sized Tonka Toy cranes set to the task of heaving port-o-potties to and from the garage roof. Then: enter the Jackhammer.

The Jackhammer greets me every day as I enter the workplace. At night I imagine its terrible drill, just above my head. I try tuning it out. But it is impossible.

So, why not have a little fun with it? Exhibitions Technical Manager Steve Dye and I went out and made some field recordings of The Jackhammer. And then I added a dash ... More


04.23.2008  |  By
Filed under: 151 3rd

Hi Friends,

We’ve been a tiny bit dark momentarily, but do not fear. Later today! (as long as this poet can get the technical apparatus to work back here), we’ll meet another regular contributor in her maiden post. Tammy Fortin! You’ll like her style. And, a few days hence, local writer Eleni Stecopoulos responds to An-My Lê ‘s Small Wars.

In the meanwhile, there’s this:

Photo: Stephanie Pau

Which curious object appeared posted under a traffic directional in the Minna Alley (and right in front of Catharine Clark) a couple of weeks ago. It’s signed (unintelligible) and numbered as one of two. Anyone care to claim?


04.18.2008  |  By
Filed under: 151 3rd

I like an early critique.

The blog is in BETA and today is only second day of posts, but one thing is obvious – the museum blog POV is not behind the times. As a matter of fact it fits perfectly into today’s corporate zeitgeist. The one that cannibalizes that which makes fun of it, attempting to create a new kind of hip.

Today’s entry is an interview with Lou Huang, a designer who two years ago in a tongue-in-cheek gesture planted himself in SFMOMA as a piece of art (kinda like a Duane Hansen) and filmed it.

Intervene in our space. We can take it. We’re not stodgy. We are web 2.0.”

Tim Buckwalter is not exactly wrong, and, “snarkiness aside,” he does neatly & immediately frame the problem or question of the possibility of an individual–or even collective!–agent trying to work and be effective under late capital. That’s all of our concern, isn’t it?

On the one hand, it could be difficult to read ANYTHING a monolithic institu... More

The Man Leaning on Wall Project

04.17.2008  |  By
Filed under: 151 3rd, Conversations

Self-installation in the SFMOMA galleries is a project after my own heart, & I thought it would be interesting to talk to the person or persons behind this intervention. There is of course a long history (and currency) of museum interventions and examinations, from Andre Cadere‘s Barres de bois rond of the early 70s to Andrea Fraser‘s institutionally sanctioned and hosted performative critiques of those same institutions. Some of my colleagues suggested this video must have been an art-school project; I was not convinced. Straight to the source. Via YouTube mail, of course.


Full name: Lou Huang
Age: 25 now, 23 at the time of the installation
Occupation: Designer at an architecture firm

Lou, my colleagues and I have had a bit of discussion about your possible motivation for self-installing the artwork “Man Leaning on Wall” in the second-floor permanent collection galleries, but we cannot agree. Why did you do it?

This is an interesting question to start ... More


04.16.2008  |  By
Filed under: 151 3rd


The blog takes its name, and spirit, from a small but influential Bay Area poetry magazine that appeared in 1965. Edited by Stan Persky and presided over by legendary poet of the San Francisco Renaissance, Jack Spicer, and with the strict dictum that no copies be circulated outside the Bay Area, Open Space included only local writers whose works-in-progress were to be published as submitted, without censorship or constraint. This community-based, Bay Area-centric magazine also printed the work of many local artists of the time, including Jess, Harry Jacobus, and others.

Open Space aims to be exactly that: an open, local, community work-in-progress. Some planned future features include: community guest writers and bloggers; profiles & interviews with people in, around, near the museum; discussion, news (& gossip?) from the inside; and, most importantly, opinion, commentary, and critique from the outside. Tell me what you’d like to see, read, or do in this spa... More