Archive for July, 2010

Street Jizz

07.29.2010  |  By
Filed under: Field Notes

If you were lucky and in Kansas City last Friday night, you were watching a special screening of Boy, the first feature film produced by Cody Critcheloe and SSION.  I want to describe SSION as a sort of contemporary art factory in the Midwest with Critcheloe playing the Andy Warhol part; but in truth the atmosphere of this project feels far more collective, its content is profoundly collaborative.  I don’t have an insider’s knowledge of the process, but the appearance suggests that Critcheloe is directing a vast ensemble of talented artists who actively shape the piece, as actors, musicians, designers, performers, visual artists.

The obsession of Boy is celebrity. The way this obsession manifests contains a critique, but that critique is always an embrace. You know how the word “glamour” etymologically preserves notions of magic and enchantment? It’s as if the enchantment of fame and the limitless fun that’s part of fame’s pitch are privileged here over the gloomy and g... More

The Grass is ALWAYS Greener

07.27.2010  |  By
Filed under: Field Notes

The Grass is ALWAYS Greener AND that is OKAY

In February of this year, Renny Pritikin posted Artist Who’ve Left Town and 97 comments followed, confirming that this topic is one many find pertinent. Most of the discussion offered insight from those who have moved, those who have stayed or those who have considered either option, while other responses concluded that some (either participating in or following the arts) will often have similar complaints without offering productive means to achieve solutions.

In the post, Pritikin listed 60 ... More

75 Reasons to Live: Larry Rinder on Lebbeus Woods

07.26.2010  |  By
Filed under: One on One

Larry Rinder is the director of the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, and is speaking here about Lebbeus Woods‘s San Francisco Project: Inhabiting the Quake 1995). I’ve been posting these talks out-of-sequence per their anniversary-weekend chronology, however it’s worth mentioning that Larry gave the 75th talk of the ... More

75 Reasons to Live: Renée Green on On Kawara

07.26.2010  |  By
Filed under: One on One

Renée Green is an artist, writer, and filmmaker, and her fantastic talk is on On Kawara‘s  MAR. 16, 1993, from the “Today” Series (1993). “What is life anyway? A series of repetitions, but not exactly?” Thank you, Renée.

Remember the end of Manhattan, when Woody Allen asks himself what makes life worth living? Last Januar... More

Wild Grasses

07.23.2010  |  By
Filed under: Projects/Series

Sometimes during my tenure as blogger, I will go see Hollywood blockbusters with artists and document, in impressionistic fashion, our experience. This is episode three.

I went to go see Wild Grasses (2009, dir. Alain Resnais) with the artist and curator Margaret Tedesco at the Clay. We both got there a little bit early so took a short stroll around the neighborhood. Margaret showed me where Cottage Industries Painting Studio is and explained that right above it was where Jay DeFeo lived! We talked about how the neighborhood where the Clay is ... More


07.22.2010  |  By
Filed under: Back Page

At the all-staff meeting this morning, just after giving us the news that Snøhetta will build the new museum, SFMOMA director Neal Benezra provided an extra helpful bit of information: keyboard shortcut for typing that funny little Ø.  (ALT+ 0248) Thanks, Neal!

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07.22.2010  |  By
Filed under: 151 3rd


Truly thrilling news. Snøhetta will collaborate with SFMOMA to design our expansion. Take a look at what else they’ve built, or are building, and just think what we might be bringing home to the bay. Absolutely stunning:

The National Opera and Ballet, Oslo:

Hamar Town Hall, ... More

One on One: Frank Smigiel on David Hockney

07.20.2010  |  By

To Shirley Goldfarb, thanks for everything, David Hockney: On David Hockney’s Shirley Goldfarb & Gregory Masurovsky

Earlier this month, I had the pleasure of giving a gallery talk on David Hockney’s double portrait, Shirley Goldfarb & Gregory Masurovsky, currently on view in From Warhol to Calder: Introducing the Fisher Collection. I ap... More

75 Reasons to Live: Stephen Hartman on Felix Gonzalez-Torres

07.19.2010  |  By
Filed under: One on One

Stephen Hartman is a psychoanalyst. He’s also written for us here at Open Space, during our summer of Berlin Alexanderplatz. He’s talking here about Felix Gonzalez-Torres’s Untitled (Golden) (1996); contradiction; shame and ecstasy; and neutrality and disclosure in psychoanalysis. Yes, that is a wetsuit our friend is wearing. Step... More

75 Reasons to Live: Rudolf Frieling on Felix Gonzalez-Torres

07.19.2010  |  By
Filed under: One on One

Rudolf Frieling is curator of media arts here at SFMOMA. He’s talking about Felix Gonzalez-Torres‘s Untitled (Golden) (1995). The gold curtain just begs for a dramatic entrance and exit: compare Stephen Hartman’s—very different—talk on the same piece, coming up later today. Thanks Rudolf!

Remember the end of Manhattan, when Wo... More

On Artist’s Artists

07.15.2010  |  By
Filed under: Field Notes

Julia Couzens, from her Maidment series, paper tape (2009)

In a recent catalogue essay on the Sacramento painter Julia Couzens, I wrote that, “Most artists have clear signs on their shop windows as you stroll past on the street: Digital Photographer; Conceptual Sculptor; Plein Air Painter. There’s no sign on Couzen’s building.”  This lack ... More

75 Reasons to Live: Rex Ray on Andy Warhol

07.14.2010  |  By
Filed under: One on One

Rex Ray is an artist and graphic designer (and a doll). He’s talking about Andy Warhol’s Self-Portrait (1967). Rex talks in some detail about the painting and it isn’t always visible in the video, so here’s a link so you can flip back and forth and look at it while he’s talking. Loads more on Warhol here. Warhol Wednes... More

75 Reasons to Live: Kevin Killian on Andy Warhol

07.14.2010  |  By
Filed under: One on One

Kevin Killian is a poet, novelist, playwright, Open Space blogging alumni, and my personal hero. He’s talking about Andy Warhol’s National Velvet (1963). Loads more on Warhol here. Warhol Wednesday!

Remember the end of Manhattan, when Woody Allen asks himself what makes life worth living? Last January, during SFMOMA’s three day ... More

A Little More On The Remake

07.14.2010  |  By
Filed under: Field Notes

I really loved Lynne’s terrific post about the remake, the remix, the mash-up . It’s interesting on one hand to consider how gestures of appropriation, participation, relationality are present across so many genres, from the blatantly mainstream allegiance of the pop song to the indie band translating punk or 70’s soul. These questions have also come to be critical for much experimental writing.

What especially interests me about her conversation with Eugene Cheung is Cheung’s insistence that the production of these videos is an artwork, and an artwork of which he is the “author.”  I wrote a post here for Open Space considering Felix Gonzalez-Torres and Cliff Hengst’s interventions into both private, institutional and public space. The Internet is a material space for “exhibition,” one that absorbs and complicates both private and public.

I think it’s easy to forget that the Internet, like the museum requires a ticket for admission: the machines that load this blog... More

75 Reasons to Live: Michelle Tea on Andy Warhol

07.14.2010  |  By
Filed under: One on One

Michelle Tea is a novelist, poet, and literary curator (and former Open Space blogger!). She’s talking about Andy Warhol’s Self-Portrait (1986). Loads more on Warhol here. We’re going to work a Warhol Wednesday today. Two more on Andy coming up in just a bit.

Remember the end of Manhattan, when Woody Allen asks himself what make... More

Collection Rotation: Megan Brian

07.12.2010  |  By
Filed under: Projects/Series

[This month’s Collection Rotation is from our very own Megan Brian, Education & Public Programs Coordinator and frequent Open Space contributor, albeit in the service of making other stars shine (Five Questions, Flickr pic of the week).  Rather than selecting a group of works from SFMOMA’s permanent collection, Megan turned to the ... More

Music Selection for Sunday

07.11.2010  |  By
Filed under: Back Page

One Sunday each month I plan to arrange a selection of videos found on YouTube based on a topic of interest.

Last time around I offered a preview to several films relating to artists within the Fisher Collection in Fisher Inspired (Part One). This month you have a chance to see films relating to the collection.

Information can be found HERE.

For now I wanted to take a break.

Digging through my record collection I selected a number of songs and arrived at youtube with efforts to find them, and here is a grouping of my findings for you to enjoy.



A Less Shadowed Place

07.10.2010  |  By
Filed under: Field Notes

Dodie Bellamy and I had only a few hours to see what seemed beforehand to be an impossible number of shows in Los Angeles. First off we drove to the far side of Culver City to LAXART on La Cienega, where our San Francisco friend Colter Jacobsen was having his first solo show in Los Angeles (Searchin’ Vs Buildin’, through June 26). The show draws from different bodies of Colter’s work, stretching way back to the very first drawings of his I remember seeing, the “Woods in the Watchers” pictures he showed on one wall ... More

RE:Response (PARTtwo)

07.09.2010  |  By
Filed under: Projects/Series

Walter Kresnik “Bubble & Michael” 2010 in response to

Jeff Koons “Michael Jackson and Bubbles” 1988


SFMOMA blog assignment ONE (part two)

An invitation was sent to a group of artists. I provided a curated list of works from SFMOMA’s permanent collection and asked each artist to make a work in response. This assig... More

Visitor Flickr Photo(s) of the Week

07.09.2010  |  By
Filed under: Back Page

Constantin Brancusi’s La Négresse blonde (The Blond Negress) – can you guess my favorite part of this series?

Each image links to the original on Flickr.  We have many to thank (from the top then right): Carmen aka Boxercab, Design.Her aka Maggie, Fragmentary Evidence aka David Colburn, Drekne aka Andreas Knecht, Torontofoto aka David B., Thom Watson, JLTP aka Jodi Lynn Trautman-Phelps, Wordster 1028 aka Gregory Schultz and Rocor aka Rob.

Anonymity no more! I love how the photographers are captured in the reflections.

W... More


07.08.2010  |  By
Filed under: Projects/Series

Sometimes during my tenure as blogger, I will go see Hollywood blockbusters with artists and document, in impressionistic fashion, our experience. This is episode two.
I went to go see Eclipse (2010, dir. David Slade) with the artist Karla Milosevich. We saw it at the Metreon. I got there a little early and stared at a poster for Cats and Dogs 2: ... More

“What isn’t a remix now?”

07.05.2010  |  By

Browsing on YouTube I click play and a video begins showing pretty hipster girls gazing longingly at the camera. They are dancing with boys with long hair and handsome beards, all of them bathed in the golden light of youth and optimism. The day is almost over and they are dancing their hearts out. In Dolores Park, on rooftops and in front of the Golden Gate Bridge, this is young San Francisco remaking shot for shot an homage to an homage, a copy of a copy. They really mean this and they really are this pretty.

This video is part of an intriguing phenomena of call and response video’s posted on YouTube in homage to the fan video, “the brat pack mash up” which was first posted in the spring of 2009.

The original video, composed of various edited scenes mostly taken from the movies of John Hughes,  ‘mashed up’ with the song, ‘Lisztomania’ by French pop group Phoenix  inspired a group of twenty something friends in Brooklyn to remake it shot for shot with their beautiful p... More

Five Questions: Mary Biggs

07.02.2010  |  By
Filed under: Conversations

[Five questions to SFMOMA artists, staff, or guests.  Today I spoke with Mary Biggs, the docent program assistant at SFMOMA.  Mary organizes every Look, Learn, Create tour for elementary and middle school classes as well as all the summer youth tours and daily docent tours. That’s something like sixteen thousand schoolkids a year. It’... More