We are presenting daylong screenings of Al Wong’s Twin Peaks (1977) in SFMOMA’s Phyllis Wattis Theater on Free Tuesday, May 7. Over the course of a year the San Francisco native shot this contemplative journey, winding around the distinctive hills in the city. Twin Peaks was featured at SFMOMA in a spotlight screening of his work in 197... More
Posts Tagged “Public Art”
Receipt of Delivery is a weekly series featuring Bay Area exhibition mailers selected from the SFMOMA Research Library’s collection of artists’ ephemera.
If you haven’t yet seen Shanghai-based artist Zhang Huan’s monumental new public sculpture, “Three Heads, Six Arms,” it is now on display at San Francisco’s Civic Center and is well worth a look. The piece will be on display through 2011.
*an ongoing series of individual images presented for speculation and scrutiny, with only tags at the bottom to give context. Because sometimes words are never enough…
On September 7th, I posted a blog entitled, “Wonderland: A world turned upside down” in regards to Lance Fung’s multi-site public art exhibition occurring in the Tenderloin in mid-October. The response to this post was overwhelming: there are currently fifteen comments posted, the majority of which are almost as long as the article itself. The commenters included participating artists, interns, former collaborators of Fung’s, social workers and educators in the Tenderloin, those outside the San Francisco art scene and those within it. These thorough and often heated responses communicated to myself and the larger public that people are eager to discuss the issues surrounding Wonderland and that it remains a highly complex and controversial exhibition. I am pleased that the SFMOMA blog Open Space provided a forum for this discussion and hope that the conversation will continue during Wonderland’s symposium on October 18th. While it would be exhaustive to a... More
Wonderland: a land of wonder, curiosities and marvels.
Wonder: something strange and surprising. A cause of astonishment.
In the popular novel, Alice and her Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, a young girl follows a rabbit down its rabbit hole to find herself in a place that, from her perspective, is full of nonsense and chaos. In Wonderland Alice meets a cast of characters, anthropomorphic plants and animals and travels through a fantasy land that is far from the hum-drum bore of the world she just left behind.
The Wonderland that curator Lance Fung refers to in his upcoming public, collaborative project is far from the fantastical space of Carroll’s novel. Fung’s Wonderland is the Tenderloin. Tucked between wealthy neighborhoods like Nob Hill and Union Square, the Tenderloin is a small, densely populated neighborhood. The Tenderloin, like many urban areas, is a difficult place to describe and categorize. The Tenderloin has the highest percentage of families, chil... More
For the past seven months, a copy of Felix Gonzalez-Torres’s black and white print of a bird soaring through a cloud streaked sky has hung on the wall above my desk. This wall is opposite my bed which means that the print is usually one of the first things I see when I wake up in the morning. I took two copies of Gonzalez-Torres’s print from SFMOMA’s The Art of Participation exhibition last January, carefully rolling them and tucking them in my bag as I biked home. I tacked one above the various photographs, postcards, and notes that have gathered on the wall above my desk and the other I gave to a friend who had just moved into a new house.
During The Art of Participation these prints, known as Untitled 1992/1993, were placed one ontop of another in a stack placed on the floor of one of the galleries. The description of the print lists the printing method, offset lithograph on paper, and then includes this important detail in paranthesis: (endless copies). Visitors w... More
In response to my recent post “This land wasn’t made for you and me”, my fellow columnist, Anuradha Vikram asked me for examples of humanizing green building projects to compare to my critique of both the San Francisco’s Federal Building’s “public” plaza and the houses built by Brad Pitt’s Make It Right Foundation (MIR) in New Orleans that I wrote about back in June. Over the past couple of days I’ve been trying hard to think of green building projects in the Bay Area that incorporate a functional shared public space. Due to my lack of expertise in architecture, I’d like to open up Anu’s comment as a question for others to respond to: What are good examples of humanizing green building projects in the Bay Area?
In contrast to building projects previously discussed, I’d like to briefly mention The Heidelberg Project started by Tyree Guyton in Detroit, Michigan. Back in 1986, East Detroit struggled to recover fro... More
Back in April I posted a blog entitled Public Art and Redevelopment that looked at the new condominium building currently under construction on the corner of Valencia and 18th Street in the Mission District and more generally, raised the issue of the role of public art within the context of redevelopment. Today I’m focusing again on the Mission District and specifically, the impending public art project that is folded into one of the many city sponsored improvement plans.
The Valencia Streetscape Improvement Project was initiated and sponsored by the San Francisco Department of Public Works. In 2006, the Municipal Transportation Agency (MTA) received an Environmental Justice Grant from Caltrans to create a Pedestrian Safety Plan for Valencia Street and for the past three years this plan has slowly been in the works to improve the commercial corridor between 15th and 19th Streets. Improvements will include widening the sidewalks, removing the striped medians, creating curb exten... More
Last month I attended a lecture sponsored by the Townsend Center for Humanities at UC Berkeley by local author, Rebecca Solnit entitled “If Gardens are the Answer, What is the Question?” Solnit, whose work ranges in topics from San Francisco geographies, to the history of walking, to landscape, gender, and art, addressed the recent popularity of gardens as educational tools and community resources in schools, rehabilitation centers, churches, and of course, the lawn of the Obama’s White House. Solnit considered the garden as an answer to the corporate farming industry, to American’s alienation from food, and to the development of safe, urban neighborhoods.
Robyn Waxman, a Graduate Design student from the Calfornia College of the Arts (CCA) confronted similar questions as she embarked on her thesis project this past fall. Waxman questioned her role as a designer and activist in today’s socio-political climate. The answer to these questions came in the for... More
We have an innate desire to preserve things: spaces, objects, memories. Preservation implies a sanctification, a remove from touch, and guard against eventual decay. Public spaces are redeveloped, graffiti is removed, and a new coat of paint added. Art objects, once delicately handmade, are often removed from touch by display cases and the demarcated spaces of museums.
Local artist Julia Goodman is interested in interrupting this process through a focus on ephemerality, ritual, and meditations on time. Goodman’s art practice consists of collecting junk mail once a week from her neighbors in Bernal Heights and transforming the junk mail into cast handmade paper sculptures. Her practice is multi-dimensional: community oriented as she travels door to door collecting paper and studio based as she engages in the laborious process of carving wood, making and casting paper. Goodman’s piece “Eleven Month Mourning Project: August 19, 2007 – July 14, 2008″ is repres... More
At the corner of Valencia Street and 18th Street in San Francisco’s Mission District is a construction site as seemingly banal as any other construction site: a chain-link fence designates a hard hat zone, wooden frames and scaffolding are visible, and hammering can be heard. As a resident of the Mission District and someone who prefers walki... More