Archive for December, 2008

Happy Holidays

12.24.2008  |  By
Filed under: Back Page

Martin Parr, Untitled [sundae with cherry and straw], from the series British Food 1995

We’ll be home & hearth-side the next few weeks, with stacks and stacks of all-natural, burns-cleaner-than-wood, non-petroleum-wax-chip firelogs and plenty of solstice cheer. So much to delight you going on in the galleries over the winter break, however, & the cold short days are always a sweet time for museum-going, don’t ya know? See you back here on the blog in the new New Year—-xxoo

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Guest Writer: Caveh Zahedi on “I Don’t Hate Las Vegas Anymore”

12.22.2008  |  By
Filed under: Essay

[This Saturday, as part of our “Vegas Highs, Vegas Lows” film series, and timely to our winter holidays, we’ll be screening Bay Area filmmaker Caveh Zahedi’s I Don’t Hate Las Vegas Anymore. Winner of the prestigious Critic’s Prize at the Rotterdam International film festival, this real-life documentary comedy fo... More

¡Viva Las Vegas Showgirls!

12.18.2008  |  By
Filed under: 151 3rd, Essay

[This Saturday! As part of our “Vegas Highs, Vegas Lows” film series, and in conjunction with the exhibition Double Down: Two Visions of Vegas, we’re screening Viva Las Vegas (1pm) and Showgirls (3pm). Not to be missed!]

Never have there been two films so ripe for reassessment as George Sidney’s Viva Las Vegas, and Paul Verhoeven’s Showgirls. Made thirty years apart, they both reside in that basket reserved for the culturally unsanctioned. Maybe it’s due to the stain of Vegas — that fata Morgana that has traditionally made the highfalutin see red. Now, in the true era of anything goes, in which the Vegas aesthetic has established itself as the norm, it’s just possible their time has come…

Why reassess an Elvis movie? ‘Cause this one’s so damned fun! There are a few decent Elvis movies. Viva is the only great one. The King is as close as the United States ever came to producing an autochthonous deity. The lack of ... More

Collection Rotation: Tucker Nichols

12.15.2008  |  By
Filed under: Projects/Series

[Our regular feature, “Collection Rotation“. Every month or so I invite a local guest to organize lists, groupings, or ‘exhibitions’ from our permanent collection. Our wonderful guest this month is Bay Area artist Tucker Nichols.][Note: clicking through on the images will take you to our collection pages, with more info on art and artist.]

Ten Natural Pairs
Collected by Tucker Nichols

Creating an online exhibition from SFMOMA’s permanent collection carries the luxury of choice without the hassles of scheduling or ... More

Something you just won’t see everyday:

12.12.2008  |  By
Filed under: 151 3rd

SFMOMA director Neal Benezra, with Elaine McKeon, tending bar in the Koret Visitor Education Center, for last night’s Marioni salon:

Tom Marioni; SFMOMA exhibitions design manager Kent Roberts.

Tammy Fortin; Kent Roberts

All pictures: Chris Brennan.

Many many more pictures of last night’s salon are here.

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Tonight’s FREE BEER Guest Bartender? SFMOMA director Neal Benezra.

12.11.2008  |  By
Filed under: 151 3rd

For serious.

Tonight’s guest bartender at Tom Marioni’s salon is none other than SFMOMA director, Neal Benezra. And not only that, but Neal will be joined in his labors by long-time SFMOMA trustee and former chairman of the board, Elaine McKeon. It should be said that, among Ms. McKeon’s many leadership credits, it was she who recruited Neal from the Art Institute of Chicago in 2002. Also, she wears fabulous outfits.  I’m looking forward to seeing this pair’s prowess behind the bar.

Tonight’s all-star cast ALSO includes SFMOMA exhibition design manager & chief preparator of nearly thirty years, Kent Roberts, as the evening’s reader. Not to be outdone by Neal, Kent is bringing along his own sidekick, media arts assistant & Open Space regular, Tammy Fortin, who for certain won’t let herself be outdone by Elaine in the get-up department. Plus, she’ll be playing the drums.

ALSO on tonight: novelist Michael Cunningham and design... More

Interview: Corey Keller on Brought to Light: Photography and the Invisible 1840 – 1900

12.09.2008  |  By
Filed under: Conversations


Left: Auguste-Adolphe Bertsch, Male itch mite, ca. 1853–57; Salt print; San Francisco Museum of Art. Right: Wilson Alwyn Bentley, Snowflakes, before 1905; Printing-out paper prints; Smithsonian Institution Archives, Washington, D.C.

[Here, our managing editor of communications, Apollonia Morrill, talks with SFMOMA associate curator of photography Corey Keller about the exhibition Brought to Light: Photography and the Invisible, 1840-1900. More than four years in the making, Corey’s “science show”–as we often heard it... More

Seen on the way into the office last week:

12.08.2008  |  By
Filed under: Back Page

Click through for the larger view. Sorry my badge is in the pic.

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Our winter of Are we discontent with Derek Jarman?

12.06.2008  |  By
Filed under: Conversations

[Hello all. A small group of us have been having the occasional post-screening discussion in response to the Jarman retrospective now on. As I noted yesterday, none of us have been quite sure how to gauge our encounter with Derek Jarman. Weighing in below are Brecht Andersch, our projectionist, and Stephen Hartman, film-loving psychoanalyst! (You may remember them from our summer of Alexanderplatz). If you have thoughts, we’d love to hear them.]

Stephen Hartman:

So fond of techno am I that I have always refused to listen to—I’m sure I’ve even said “hated”—opera without knowing much about it. Then, recently, a dear friend set out to convert me. We spent a wonderful evening listening and comparing. As I write now, my new heroine Régine Crespin is belting out Verdi. Alas, me…a convert?

Unfortunately, diving back into Derek Jarman after many years had the opposite effect. Where I was once an Act Up boy overwhelmed by the poetry of The Garden... More

Guest Writer: James Mackay on “The Angelic Conversation”.

12.05.2008  |  By
Filed under: Essay

[We’re a lot about Derek Jarman on the blog of late. It’s been for many of us in the theater a process of discovery and rediscovery, and if the conversations I’ve participated in and overheard are a good barometer, even for those who are more familiar with Jarman’s oeuvre it isn’t as much meeting an old friend as re-encountering a familiar stranger you’re not quite sure what to do with. James Mackay, who produced numerous films with Jarman, writes here about the production of The Angelic Conversation, the fir... More

Tonight! Beer, surveillance, border crossings, chalkboard music

12.04.2008  |  By
Filed under: 151 3rd

Hey all,

Just a reminder that tonight’s Tom Marioni FREE BEER Salon is featuring that famous local painter Robert Bechtle as guest bartender, and that famous local news & gossip maven Leah Garchik as guest reader.

Also on tonight in the D-Space, starting at 7pm when the salon closes, is a cool-sounding project developed by Stanford students as part of our experiment Group Work, a collaboration between three types of institution: an art school (CCA), a research university (Stanford), and a modern art museum (that’s us). Peggy Phelan at Stanford, and Brian Conley at CCA, have been leading courses on art education and participation, and as part of their coursework, each student group is producing projects related to those themes. Tonight the Stanford group presents, and next Thursday the CCA group will be here.

Details from the Standford students:

We imagine a lively atmosphere with eccentric sounds, people in puppet clothes, photographs (like at an amusement park), and o... More

December 1, Day Without Art

12.01.2008  |  By
Filed under: Uncategorized

[Taking a cue from Michael Buitron at Leap Into the Void (via MAN), rather than marking the 19th annual (but now somewhat invisible?) “Day Without Art” by shrouding an artwork or going dark for the day, I leave you with these wonderful stills from some of Derek Jarman’s earliest Super 8 mm films, with thanks to producer James Mac... More