Archive for February, 2011

Please welcome our new columnists for spring!

02.28.2011  |  By
Filed under: 151 3rd

A warm first welcome, please, this morning to our fantastic new crew of columnists, who will be rolling out their maiden posts in coming days. I’m very excited to see what they will do:

Interdisciplinary artist Christine Wong Yap recently relocated to New York from Oakland. Her installations, sculptures, multiples, and works on paper explore optimism and pessimism, and major themes and touchstones are language, light and dark, and psychology.

Glen Helfand is an independent writer, critic, curator, and educator. His writing appears regularly in Artforum and at Artforum.com, and he’s contributed to the San Francisco Bay Guardian, ArtInfo.com, and many other periodicals and exhibition catalogues.

Norma Cole is a poet, painter, and translator. Her most recent books of poetry include Where Shadows Will: Selected Poems 1988–2008 (City Lights), Collective Memory (Granary Books), Do the Monkey (Zasterle), Spinoza in Her Youth (Omnidawn), and Natural Light (Libellum). Born in Toronto,... More

In Search of Christopher Maclaine 16: The THE END Tour – A Work in Progress 14: CLIMAX A

02.28.2011  |  By

This is the sixteenth 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... More

5 Questions: Anna Parkina

02.22.2011  |  By
Filed under: Conversations

[Five questions to SFMOMA artists, staff, or guests. Today, answers to more than five questions. Anna Parkina is an artist who lives and works in Moscow. Her work includes collage, sculpture, and performance. This Thursday evening Anna will perform in the Wattis Theater at 7 p.m., in conjunction with the opening of her New Work exhibition on the 2n... More

The Present Prize (Travel Grant)

02.21.2011  |  By
Filed under: Field Notes

UPDATE: Last April, I posted here about a travel grant for Bay Area artists. Almost a year later, in collaboration with The Present Group, we’ve produced The Present Prize, a new yearly grant that leverages the profit margin from web-hosting services to support artists. The focus of the grant will change from year to year, but this year’s travel grant is being voted on now. You can view the 9 nominees here or start voting.

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Sequent Occupancy: A brief history of the SFMOMA site for the past 900 years (Part 2)

02.15.2011  |  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.

After meeting my collaborator, Joshua Singer, at The Trappist a... More

Happy Late Valentine’s Day, Louise Bourgeois

02.15.2011  |  By
Filed under: Back Page

Dear Louise Bourgeois,

You probably don’t remember me, but I met you on my very first trip to New York. I was staying with my friend Yael Bartana on St. Mark’s Place, and she was nice enough to let me stay for like two weeks. So anyway, one day I was with another friend who had gone to your house in Chelsea on a class trip. When we were walking... More

Collection Rotation: Wayne Smith

02.14.2011  |  By
Filed under: Projects/Series

Our regular feature, Collection Rotation. Every month or so I invite someone to organize a mini-“exhibition” from our collection works online. Today, please welcome visual and sound artist WAYNE SMITH. And Happy Valentine’s Day!]

The invitation to do the Collection Rotation came at a time when I was organizing some field recordings I̵... More

Visitor Flickr Photo of the Week

02.11.2011  |  By
Filed under: Back Page

If this sculpture, Hail to Reason (2004) by Rachel Harrison, could be said to have a face, then I believe these two are standing nose to nose. Ugo52, aka Hugo Molina, happened upon this scene and documented it for us:

“I was visiting the museum with a friend that day when I saw this person by that sculpture without moving or doing anything but standing in the position for a long time, so I said to myself that has to [be] a powerful piece of art and I just took the picture.”

You can see this work by Rachel Harrison in the 5th-floor g... More

Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair! – Percy Bysshe Shelley, 1818

02.11.2011  |  By
Filed under: Back Page

To make their friends jealous in the 19th century people would bring home souvenir photographs from their trips. Long before Kodak’s Brownie camera popularized the concept of the snapshot and before Flickr, Picasaweb, Photobucket, or Google, there was the cheap 8 x 10-inch albumen print. Back then you could pick them up in stores or from str... More

Mubarak Defiant

02.10.2011  |  By
Filed under: Back Page

One More Tweet Before I Die

02.08.2011  |  By
Filed under: Field Notes

No one ever thinks they will get killed for using Twitter. Or beaten for taking a photograph. Or arrested for making a video. Or for making a sign critical of the government. But apparently such things have been happening in Egypt. According to Human Rights Watch, about 300 people have been killed since the anti-government uprising began two weeks ago. It’s hard to say for sure how many have been arrested or “disappeared.” One thing is for certain, it’s an all-out technology war with one side using internet tools as a means of expressio... More

Losing Our Voice

02.07.2011  |  By
Filed under: Field Notes

On January 18th, the University of San Francisco, in a complex and underhanded backroom deal involving the University of Southern California and Entercom Communications, sold the 33-year-old San Francisco independent radio station KUSF, without any notice to its staff and volunteers or the community it serves. On that day, armed USF security enter... More

In Search of Christopher Maclaine 15: The THE END Tour – A Work in Progress 13: CHRIS C

02.07.2011  |  By

This is the 15th 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 Da... More

FYI: The Revolution Has Just Been Tweeted

02.06.2011  |  By
Filed under: Field Notes

Twitter began as a revolutionary social networking tool for the over-caffeinated, but now it can genuinely claim to have started a real revolution. Over the weekend numerous accounts have emerged detailing how the text-based microblogging service allowed Egyptian protesters to connect with one another and organize. Their goal was ambitious by any standard: to challenge a 30-year-old dictatorship by orchestrating massive nonviolent demonstrations. It also must have been quite a shock to Americans who are constantly bombarded with images of Musli... More

Sun and Shadow: The Life and Death of Kodachrome K-14

02.04.2011  |  By
Filed under: Field Notes

For more than half a century the three main employers in Parsons, Kansas, were all in the chemicals business — the Army Ammunition Plant, Dwayne’s Photo, and the Parsons State Hospital.

Between 1942 and 2009 the Kansas AAP produced artillery and mortar shells for the bombardment of Germany, Italy, Japan, Korea, Vietnam, assorted Latin Ame... More

Visitor Flickr Photo of the Week

02.04.2011  |  By
Filed under: Back Page

Matthew Felix Sun took this photograph of museum visitors adding their own colors to Ellsworth Kelly’s Blue Green Black Red, 1996. “This picture was a chance photo of mine,” he writes. “I don’t know the people who posed for this wonderful tableau—”

Thanks, Matthew!

We choose the Flickr pictures of the week fro... More

195 Promised Gifts of Art from Bay Area Collectors, Including Major Works by Pollock, Nauman, Smith, Beuys, and Sherman

02.03.2011  |  By
Filed under: 151 3rd

SFMOMA launches a collections campaign with another spectacular cache of artwork: 195 promised gifts from nine Bay Area collectors, including major works by Diane Arbus, Joseph Beuys, Robert Gober, Eva Hesse, Jasper Johns, Ellsworth Kelly, Bruce Nauman, Jackson Pollock, Ed Ruscha, Cindy Sherman, and David Smith, and others, spanning all media, from modern and contemporary painting, sculpture, photography, and design, to new media and conceptual-based works. The full press release is here. Some nice pictures, here:

(more…)

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Robbing Your Mamma To Pay Your Poppa

02.01.2011  |  By
Filed under: Field Notes

As a revolution tries to unfold in Egypt, many Americans who have watched the Antiques Roadshow know why soldiers and citizens alike were seen guarding the Egyptian Museum. It’s because they know that old stuff can be valuable! It’s not just a bunch of crusty statues, drawings, coffins, jars, paintings and old jewelry in there, hell no, some of it is made of real GOLD! And right now gold is worth $1,337.40 an ounce!

Just one mask alone weighs 24.5 pounds. Do you know how much gold that is? Let’s do the math: there’s 16 ounces in a pound for a total of 392 ounces. OMG that means King Tut’s mask is worth $524, 260.00! Maybe more at auction. They also have a big collection of ... More

Paris Hilton’s Poetics

02.01.2011  |  By
Filed under: Essay, One on One

So, how do you feel about Paris Hilton?

It’s a funny question, I know. Funny, because largely I find no one has much of any feeling at all “about” Paris Hilton. Especially these days. When I put the question on the Facebook, “So, how do you feel about Paris Hilton?” OPEN SPACE blogger Scott Hewicker responded wisely, “Who?”

And yet w... More