Posts in Projects/Series

Thematic multi-post projects produced by our columnists and artists-in-residence; recurring editorial features; interviews with artists, staff and visitors; guest-curated online exhibitions

Community Property

04.28.2015  |  By

In Conversation: Chris Evans and Ernest Jolly Jr.

Chris Evans and Ernest Jolly, Jr. are a collaborative pair whose work brings together material, sound, history, and movement. Chris is a cellist and dancer with a background in comparative literature; Ernest is an installation-based artist with a background in couture. A friend set them up when Erne... More

Five-Tone Kit: Janet Delaney & Lou Harrison

04.24.2015  |  By
Filed under: 151 3rd, Projects/Series

This brief, five-part series — named after a section of composer Lou Harrison’s (1917-2003) Rhymes With Silver — pairs an image of San Francisco from the SFMOMA Collection with a piece of music also created in or indebted to the Bay Area at large.

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Nothing That Meets the Eye: Not Pollock

04.24.2015  |  By
Filed under: Essay, Projects/Series

“Nothing That Meets the Eye” is a series of essays in which I think through the aesthetic and affective fallout of some of the odder, ubiquitous, and more stubborn byproducts of our culture of copies, reproductions, and fakes.

Everybody has that feeling when they look at a work of art and it’s right, that sudden familiarity, a s... More

On Being-Hated: Ron Athey, Whip-Its, Envy.

04.22.2015  |  By
Filed under: Essay, Projects/Series

I know these posts usually start with something coherent, like where I am or where I might be going. How I want what I want when I want it, that sort of thing. Maybe it’s weird for me to assume that any of this might be interesting to you, voyeuristically or whatever. But god, I’m so tired I’ve gotta be honest. I did a lot of fucking drug... More

Objects Sublimated to Things

04.15.2015  |  By

The Thing, founded and run by artists Jonn Herschend and Will Rogan, is “is a periodical in the form of an object. It’s like a magazine, except that each issue is conceived of by a different contributor and then published on a useful object.” Four times per year, subscribers receive an iteration of the journal. Over the years those object... More

Collection Rotation: Kirk Stoller

04.13.2015  |  By
Filed under: Projects/Series

For my installment of Open Space’s Collection Rotation, I’ve selected works that visually inhabit the narrow corridor that is the boundary between cohesion and collapse. It is the hidden stability of these works — a certain veiled resistance to failure — that I gravitate towards.

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On Being-Hated: Damien Hirst, Alli Warren, Kissing the Wall.

04.08.2015  |  By
Filed under: Essay, Projects/Series

Let’s start with where I want to go. I don’t know where I want to go but it’s definitely not here. I’ve just quit smoking for the second time in my life and everything’s just one undifferentiated mass; I don’t know where I want to go, but it doesn’t matter. I just know that staying here means I can’t sleep — that I’m lucid &... More

Nothing That Meets the Eye: An Introduction

04.06.2015  |  By
Filed under: Essay, Projects/Series

Patricia Highsmith’s short story “The Great Cardhouse” (1963) centers on Lucien Montelhuc, a wealthy art collector whose passion is hunting down only the most expertly done forgeries of Old Masters, finding “bona fide masterpieces […] too natural, too easy, too boring” …

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The Edge Effect

03.30.2015  |  By

unexpected projects is a collaboration between Jenny Salomon and Jen Stager. In this series, they interview other collaborative teams in the Bay Area to find out what their projects and processes are all about.

In Conversation: Selene Foster and Christopher Reiger of BAASICS: Bay Area Art and Science Interdisciplinary Collaborative Sessions

W... More

On Being-Hated: Werner Schroeter, Erika Staiti, “Community”.

03.23.2015  |  By
Filed under: Essay, Projects/Series

Let’s start with where I can’t go. I could have one lover, maybe two; I could text someone I don’t know from the Internet and meet them on a street corner, kiss them when we don’t yet know each other’s names. I could stand on the same street corner, abandoned callously by someone else’s lover, weeping. I could get an email from someone ... More

Collection Rotation: Facundo Argañaraz

03.18.2015  |  By
Filed under: Projects/Series

For our regular feature Collection Rotation, we invite a guest to organize a mini “exhibition” from our collection works online. Today, please welcome artist and curator Facundo Argañaraz.

As a practicing artist and, more recently, as a gallerist, I navigate the stream of (monetized) digital information available via the Internet on a daily basis: endlessly browsing color-corrected images of artworks and premeditated installation shots, getting lost in high resolution fluorescent-white gallery walls of well-known or non-existent art spa... More

Other Half Orbit

03.16.2015  |  By

We met with Ingrid Rojas Contreras and Jeremiah Barber in the gallery of their current joint exhibition Lo real maravilloso at Mission Cultural Center to talk about their ongoing collaboration. Ingrid identifies primarily as a writer and Jeremiah as a visual artist; however, their connection and collaboration of more than a decade blurs boundaries ... More

On Being-Hated: Banks Violette, Pharmakon, Karaoke.

03.09.2015  |  By
Filed under: Essay, Projects/Series

Let’s start with where I am. It could be anywhere. I’m on a train to Philadelphia, I’m on a plane back to New York. I’ve just moved to Oakland. I’m wearing a pair of fingerless leather gloves and there’s a slim choker around my neck loose enough that the buckle’s constantly slipping over to the front.

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Collection Rotation: Madalyn Merkey

03.03.2015  |  By
Filed under: Projects/Series

This conceived collection examines aspects of shifting cultural situations, as well as artists whose work challenges the institutional inclination to group artworks according to medium; it is rooted in large scale environmental and performance works. My desire with this exhibition is to experience a revolutionary art form capable of addressing contemporary social and political concerns.

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The Rumpus Pops Up in New York

03.01.2015  |  By

A few weeks ago here in New York, when it was so cold outside that puddles were frozen in the gutters and lethal sheets of ice clung to the sidewalks, I went to a reading put on by the Rumpus.

It was the sort of chilly hell no sane person would want to go out into.

But that clearly didn’t stop people from going; all of the tables were ... More

BOOM: Turfing Inspiring The World

09.29.2014  |  By
Filed under: Essay, Projects/Series

My first two posts on Oakland turf dancing emphasized some of the sites where turfing takes place, or is subsequently shown: from the art gallery, to the Oakland Ballet, to the stages where Johnny Lopez’s TURFinc battles take place. That is, turfing is visible in a number of known venues for art. But there is another site that is critical to this... More

Miley Cyrus and Her Enigmatic Mask of Teddy Bears

09.25.2014  |  By

As surely as the sun rises every morning, there was a kind of cosmic certainty that one day Miley Cyrus would start making art. The show made the New York art world pause for a minute, like it did for Jay Z and James Franco before her, and then it moved on. And yet, after seeing her show of tween trinkets glued onto various mannequin heads, there’s a ringing in my ears that won’t go away. It’s like I stood too close to a loudspeaker in a club and all my senses got thrown out of whack. In that confused state I unconsciously... More

Taking Up Room On The Floor

09.22.2014  |  By
Filed under: Essay, Projects/Series

The RIP videos made by Oakland turf dancing crew Turf Feinz appeared in 2009-2010, commemorating recent deaths of young people in Oakland. It’s been four years or more since most of them were posted, which in turfing time, like internet time, might as well be forty. However, many, if not all, of the dancers in those videos are still dancing in O... More

BOOM! Turfing Against the World

09.15.2014  |  By
Filed under: Essay, Projects/Series

In 2010, the annual juried show at Southern Exposure was titled BOOM! Thinking back on it now, I love that curator Astria Suparak called it BOOM! It was a little melodramatic for a few rooms of generally non-explosive works of art, but prescient in a way. BOOM! – the beat comes in and everybody moves.  BOOM! – fireworks and their long echoes a... More

1986

07.31.2014  |  By

What is without reason, is monstrous. What is with singular reason, is monstrous. What ignores reason over a singular, driving motive, is monstrous. What is reasonable will get you from the top of the steps of your home, where you tie your shoes and feel the first breath of the day’s weather on your skin, to a table across town that sits near the door of the place where you do business, but this will never be anything anyone would pay to see on a screen. Only the monstrous is entertaining and profitable.

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James Franco: To Barf or Not to Barf, That Is the Question

04.26.2014  |  By
Filed under: Essay, Projects/Series

As the saying goes,  if everybody hates you, you must be doing something right, right? So what happens when both of the top art critics in New York slam your work on two different days, delivering a one-two knockout punch? It’s enough to drive most artists to suicide!

The question is, do you go down for the count or do you to get back up and try to keep fighting? Jerry Saltz went so far as to say that George Bush is a better artist than James Franco. Roberta Smith pleaded for someone  to get him to stop making art.

Sure, maybe Franco is... More

Five on Transition

Nicole Archer: Curtain Calls

04.15.2014  |  By
Filed under: Projects/Series

Curtains gather in the margins of everyday life. They claim to be insignificant, save for those pivotal moments when they dramatically rise or fall. Yet without them, we seem to run the permanent risk of confusing all our beginnings for our ends.

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Five on Transition

Jarrett Earnest: Three Waves

04.15.2014  |  By
Filed under: Projects/Series

Ocean waves are animated by celestial forces: pull of the moon, wind churned by the sun. Vija Celmins’s Untitled (Ocean) (1977) is a drawing not only of water, but of breeze and sunlight, too — a vignette of our planetary arrangement.

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Five on Transition

Christian Nagler: Silicon Spring

04.15.2014  |  By
Filed under: Projects/Series

Let’s think about the desert. Place where not much seems to be happening. But we know there’s actually a lot going on, right? Life is hiding, blinking, doing sweet push-ups in the shade, hot sap pulling beneath slow oceans of crust.

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Five on Transition

Dushko Petrovich: Emigre

04.15.2014  |  By
Filed under: Projects/Series

Emigre was initially a magazine about actual émigrés. Very few people remember it that way, but the revolutionary design publication actually was founded by immigrants — including husband-and-wife duo Rudy VanderLans and Zuzana Licko — in order to present “the unique perspective of contemporary poets, writers, journalists, graphic designers, photographers, architects, and artists who live or have lived outside their native countries.”

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Five on Transition

Maria Popova: Against Interpretation

04.15.2014  |  By
Filed under: Projects/Series

“It’s only when the heart begins to beat wildly and without pattern — when it begins to realize its boundlessness — that its newly adamant pulse bangs on the walls of its cage and is bruised by its enclosure.” — Kay Larsen

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1985

04.03.2014  |  By

“The game is a machine composed of interconnected mechanistic devices. These devices facilitate bad faith interaction… A con or snow job is the site at which X preys upon the hopes, fears, and anxieties of Y for ulterior motives and/or personal gain. The machinations which vehiculate this manipulation can have wide effect—ranging from the ... More

1984

03.27.2014  |  By
Filed under: Essay, Projects/Series

At the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, filming a soft drink ad in front of a crowd of fans, a pyrotechnic malfunction ignites the singer’s hair causing second degree burns on his scalp and face. The case is settled out of court and the settlement is donated to the Brotman Medical Center, which is rechristened in honor of their benefactor. The President invites the singer to the White House to give him an award for his support of charities that helped people overcome alcohol and drug abuse (the First Lady’s pet cause). Inspired by ... More

1983

03.17.2014  |  By

Hard sunlight bullies through smoke and soot. Something awful is burning all the time and a haze mutes even medium distances into old photographs. Our town is shrouded in perpetual smoke that fades red to an 1890’s sepia, and clouds any blue to a dusty gray. Muted colors make us feel like we’re in some scratchy old movie. That in turn slows everything down. Traffic lights halt movement for almost all of a Linda Ronstadt song even when there’s nothing to wait for. Birds seldom fly and when they do they don’t flap. They circle the ... More

Amiri Baraka Will Be Missed

01.12.2014  |  By

There will be both a wake and a funeral next weekend in New Jersey, where Amiri Baraka lived and worked. The wake will be important because his passing has been a cause for deep reflection among the countless poets, writers, and artists that he touched. Collaborating constantly, he was in Paris just last year performing with his old friend virtuoso pianist and composer Cecil Taylor.

Baraka also had many friends in the San Francisco Bay Area and made frequent under-the-radar appearances on KDVS with Justin Desmangles, jazz historian and chairman... More