Archive for November, 2010

On “Riot Show”

11.30.2010  |  By
Filed under: Essay

On Thursday, December 2, at 7 p.m.,  Joanna Szupinska and I will host a screening and discussion of “Riot Show,”  my archive of recordings of crowd violence at rock concerts, in the Koret Visitor Education Center at SFMOMA. Looking forward to that event, Joanna and I talked through the origins and various forms of the project over the years, ... More

Juliana Spahr and Stephanie Young on Nicholas Nixon’s The Brown Sisters

11.29.2010  |  By

Our “One on One” series features artists, writers, poets, curators, and others, from around the country, responding to works in SFMOMA’s collection. You can follow the series here. Today’s post is more “Two on Several” than “One on One”: Every year since 1974 the photographer Nicholas Nixon has made ... More

In Search of Christopher Maclaine 10: Stan Brakhage Interviewed, 1986

11.29.2010  |  By
Filed under: Projects/Series

This is the tenth in a multipart series unofficially conjoined to the publication of Radical Light: Alternative Film & Video in the San Francisco Bay Area, 1945–2000, and the accompanying film series currently being presented by the Pacific Film Archive and San Francisco Cinematheque (in partnership with SFMOMA).

In my intro to this series, I described my initial encounter with Stan Brakhage in 1986, and the brief interview about Maclaine my collaborators in what would become the Austin Film Society and I w... More

Found Images from Public Desktops

11.25.2010  |  By
Filed under: Back Page, Essay

I am interested in how we can use random stimuli to inspire thought and synthesize notions that might otherwise never come together. I’ve always understood the I Ching that way: it merely enables us to gather our thoughts in reaction to its pithy, suggestive text. I used to know some poets who for a time tried writing while having several ra... More

Happy Thanksgiving

11.25.2010  |  By
Filed under: Back Page

I’m very fond of this picture, and so make it my holiday offering to you. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! (SFMOMA has another autochrome beauty by Emile Bruguière, by the by. It’s of the Lick Observatory, and you can see it here.)

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Maple Jesus: In Brooklyn with Gretchen Bennett and Emily Hall (Part 1)

11.24.2010  |  By
Filed under: Projects/Series

I don’t drink coffee, so let’s have a beer… My posts are always collaborations and are presented in two parts. Part 1 is a summary of a shared experience with my collaborator(s). Part 2 is a response often in the form of a project created specifically for this blog.

I was in New York last week conducting studio visits with a couple of artists we’ll be exhibiting in 2011 at the SFAC Gallery. On a free night I hooked up with Emily Hall, a truly amazing writer who regularly contributes to Artforum and works as an editor at MoMA... More

Notes from The Gauntlet

11.23.2010  |  By
Filed under: Back Page

“The Gauntlet” is what my partner, Cliff Hengst, and I have long dubbed the block of Capp St. between our apartment and our art studios in the Mission. On any given day you can find — through the obstacle course of trash, rotting food, feces, needles, and other junk — random personal ephemera: scrawled notes, posted messages, discarded f... More

Irruptions of the Marvelous

11.22.2010  |  By
Filed under: Field Notes

Mark Dion, the environmental and conceptual artist, has a major exhibit in the Bay Area for the first time in more than a decade. His latest project is on view at the Oakland Museum until March 6th next year.


Dion’s trademark gesture is to go “backstage,” as the sociologist Ervin Goffmann would have put it, to the sites of production of official and institutional knowledge. His practice is to make art that reveals the heterogeneous context of discovery. The making and presentation of knowledge turns out, upon investigation, to b... More

Rudolf Frieling: “Things Revisited”

11.22.2010  |  By
Filed under: 151 3rd, Projects/Series

The exhibition The More Things Change (“TMTC“) samples SFMOMA’s collection to present a range of works made since 2000, offering a selective survey of the art of the last 10 years and a thematic and psychological portrait of the decade. Some common themes emerge: fragmentation, fragility, entropy, metamorphosis, reconfiguration. The exhibition itself will continually change, with a varying array of works on view. TMTC is also an unprecedented collaboration among all five curatorial departments at the museum: over the course of... More

In Search of Christopher Maclaine 9: The THE END Tour – A Work in Progress 8: JOHN B

11.21.2010  |  By
Filed under: Projects/Series

This is the ninth in a multipart series unofficially conjoined to the publication of Radical Light: Alternative Film & Video in the San Francisco Bay Area, 1945–2000, and the accompanying film series currently being presented by the Pacific Film Archive and San Francisco Cinematheque (in partnership with SFMOMA).... More

THE MORE THINGS CHANGE

11.20.2010  |  By
Filed under: 151 3rd

The More Things Change, which opens today, offers a selective look at contemporary art made in the last 10 years, drawing on a range of works from the museum’s collection to present a thematic and psychological portrait of the decade. Some common threads emerge: fragmentation, fragility, entropy, metamorphosis, reconfiguration — and the exh... More

Visitor Flickr Photo of the Week

11.19.2010  |  By
Filed under: Back Page

It came as no surprise to me that Acey Thompson, who snapped this shot, and model Marcus Gannuscio are both artists. I love the black hoodie and yellow shirt next to this blue and white Ellsworth Kelly. Acey fills us in on their trip to the museum:

“Marcus is my boyfriend, and we live together up in Portland, OR. We’re both from Califor... More

Worship Satan: Charles Baudelaire, Kanye West, and The Evil 1980s

11.16.2010  |  By
Filed under: Essay, Field Notes

“can I devil worship with the new iphone?? LOL”
—Kanye West

The 1850s were a good time for Satanism in France. Riding the rising tide of the Second Empire, French intellectuals praised the virtues of cynicism and rebellious confrontation. This fluorescence of Satanic devotion was influenced by a nuanced poetics of Satanism in England: Milton’s Paradise Lost and Byron’s poetics of heroism. Already in those authors we can detect a paradoxical understanding of Satan’s significance. Robert Southey, for instance, called Byron’s group ... More

Happy Birthday, Wayne Thiebaud!

11.15.2010  |  By
Filed under: Back Page

All of us at SFMOMA are delighted to wish Wayne Thiebaud a very happy 90th birthday!

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BAY AREA ECSTATIC

11.14.2010  |  By
Filed under: Essay

Bay Area Ecstatic, my first programming effort for an SFMOMA film show, plays this Thursday, 7 p.m., in the Phyllis Wattis Theater. Note to followers of The THE END Tour: this week’s post has been preempted by this exploration of later forms of Bay Area ecstatic cinema. Please enjoy, and check back next week for your next Maclaine fix, the co... More

Visitor Flickr Photo of the Week

11.12.2010  |  By
Filed under: Back Page

Thanks to Ken Osborn, aka Misterken, for taking this great photo of visitors interacting with George Segal’s Chance Meeting. Ken explains it further:

“I went to SFMOMA with friends to see the Fisher Collection (Calder to Warhol). While it was truly an impressive collection, I was most fascinated by New Topographics: Photographs of a Man-Altered Landscape. Perhaps that’s my bias as a ‘photographer.’

“While looking at the art on the rooftop garden, I waited for a group in front of this sculpture so I could ta... More

This weekend: Jets vs. Sharks, Alameda version

11.11.2010  |  By
Filed under: 151 3rd

Alameda Naval Air Force Base, Hangar 20, then and now:

OPENrestaurant is all set to transform the former Navy hangar and current home to the St. George Distillery into OPENwater: educational think tank, temporary restaurant, watershed installation, and flotilla!

How does water flow in the Bay Area? OPENwater is SFMOMA’s latest collaboration w... More

The Marriage of Figaro: Anne Colvin and I find a way in (Part 2)

11.10.2010  |  By
Filed under: Projects/Series

I don’t drink coffee, so let’s have a beer… My posts are always collaborations and are presented in two parts. Part 1 is a summary of a shared experience with my collaborator(s). Part 2 is a response often in the form of a project created specifically for this blog.

In response to conversations after attending SF Opera’s product... More

Dana Ward on Cory Arcangel

11.08.2010  |  By

[Our “One on One” series features artists, writers, poets, curators, and others, from around the country, responding  to a collection work of their choosing. You can follow the series here. Today, please welcome Cincinnati poet, the marvelous Mr. Dana Ward … And a happy belated to Art Garfunkel, 69 last Friday.]

When I set out to... More

In Search of Christopher Maclaine 8: The THE END Tour – A Work in Progress 7: JOHN A

11.08.2010  |  By
Filed under: Projects/Series

This is the eighth of a multipart series unofficially conjoined to the publication of Radical Light: Alternative Film & Video in the San Francisco Bay Area, 1945–2000, and the accompanying film series currently being presented by the Pacific Film Archive and San Francisco Cinematheque (in partnership with SFMOMA).

Wi... More

Visitor Flickr Photo of the Week

11.05.2010  |  By
Filed under: Back Page

Thank you, Ken Yee (aka yuweiquan), for capturing this!

Plus, Ken has quite the story behind his trip to SFMOMA that day:

I wanted to check out and attempt photographing something I had observed on a rooftop garden visit from a couple of weeks earlier. I was sitting to the left of the Ellsworth Kelly (with the Louise Bourgeois behind), admiring jus... More

Conrad Ruiz, Young Jeezy, and The Biggest Watercolor in the World

11.03.2010  |  By
Filed under: Field Notes

Several times a year I find myself on the CCA campus in Potrero Hill to attend readings presented by Small Press Traffic in Timkin Hall. Those visits always entail the long and drafty walk down the broad corridor, whose walls are always populated with student’s works. Historically I’ve been too absorbed in bliss, ambivalence, or despair... More

The Marriage of Figaro: With Anne Colvin (Part 1)

11.02.2010  |  By

I don’t drink coffee, so let’s have a beer… My posts are always collaborations and are presented in two parts. Part 1 is a summary of a shared experience with my collaborator(s). Part 2 is a response often in the form of a project created specifically for this blog.

My first co-conspirator for this grand blog experiment is Scotti... More

75 Reasons to Live: Bill Fontana on Dan Graham

11.01.2010  |  By
Filed under: One on One

Bill Fontana is a composer and sound artist. SFMOMA has commissioned what will be a truly fantastic new site-specific installation by the artist, opening this month.  Bill talks here about his appreciation for the sound qualities of Dan Graham’s 1994 sculpture Double Cylinder (The Kiss).  I remember that after his talk, one listener sugges... More

In Search of Christopher Maclaine 7: The THE END Tour – A Work in Progress 6: CHARLES C

11.01.2010  |  By
Filed under: Projects/Series

This is the seventh in a multipart series unofficially conjoined to the publication of Radical Light: Alternative Film & Video in the San Francisco Bay Area, 1945–2000, and the accompanying film series currently being presented by the Pacific Film Archive and San Francisco Cinematheque (in partnership with SFMOMA).

With my friend Brian Darr, proprietor of the great Bay Area cinephilia blog Hell on Frisco Bay, I’ve been scouting out the San Francisco locations used in Christopher Maclaine’s Masterpiece, THE END.  What began as an attempt to identify and document what physically remains of the often mysterious places at which THE END was shot has evolved into a larger project to also analyze the film, and to identify all its many actors and extras, all of whom appear uncredited. To read the full version of these preliminary remarks, including ... More