February 14, 2011

Collection Rotation: Wayne Smith

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 I’ve made over the past few years, so I decided to pair excerpts from a few of these with works from SFMOMA’s collection. In other cases, the art is accompanied by excerpts from songs or sampled audio I’m fond of.

If the works of art represented here were to suddenly turn into living, breathing people, it seems unlikely they would meet their soul mates in any of these arranged marriages, although it does seem possible that a few of them might become friends.

Vija Celmins, Untitled (Ocean), 1975; Collection SFMOMA; © Vija Celmins

John Cassavetes being interviewed (circa 1965) as he drives a convertible with a car radio playing, from the documentary A Constant Forge, 2000.

Willard Van Dyke, Bone and Sky, ca. 1932; The Henry Swift Collection

Henry Flynt, “Raga Electric,” 1966, from the CD Raga Electric: Experimental Music, 1963–1971, Locust Music, 2002.

Ana Mendieta, Imagen de Yagul, from the series Silueta Works in Mexico, 1973–1977, 1973; Collection SFMOMA; © Estate of Ana Mendieta Collection, Courtesy Galerie Lelong, New York

Birds in palm trees planted in median strip between lanes of opposing traffic. Market Street at Dolores Street, San Francisco.

Alexander Girard, Platter for La Fonda del Sol Restaurant, New York, ca. 1960; Collection SFMOMA; © Alexander Girard ®

Cafeteria in Scotland playing a version of Fleetwood Mac’s Albatross on the PA system.

Robert Rauschenberg, Erased de Kooning Drawing, 1953; Collection SFMOMA; © Estate of Robert Rauschenberg/Licensed by VAGA, New York

Song introduction, two outtakes, The Judy Garland Show television series, c. 1963–64.

Bruce Nauman, Stamping in the Studio, 1968; Collection SFMOMA; © Bruce Nauman/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Four consecutive 7.5-second clips of audio from Nauman’s Rhythmic Stamping, 1969.

Dr. William J. Pierce, Spirit Photographs, 1903; Collection SFMOMA

Swarming bees near Cazadero, California.

Corita Kent, tomorrow the stars, 1966; Collection SFMOMA, Accessions Committee Fund purchase; © Estate of Corita Kent

Sister Juliana Garza, “Days of September,” 1967, from the LP Mixed Expressions, private pressing. My parents subscribed to Look magazine in the late sixties, and I looked forward to seeing the nearly psychedelic word paintings of Sister Corita Kent that often appeared in it. Around the same time, our neighbors’ daughter — a nun in a Washington state convent — enjoyed some notoriety as a folksinger. The recent appearance on internet blogs of Sister Juliana Garza’s long out-of-print Mixed Expressions is a pleasure to see.

United States Atomic Energy Commission, Atomic Tests in Nevada, 1957; Collection SFMOMA

Tom Recchion, “The Little Green Thing,” 1981, from the compilation The Lowest Form of Music: The Los Angeles Free Music Society 1971–1994, Cortical Foundation/RRRecords, 1995.

Richard Serra, Gutter Corner Splash: Night Shift, 1969/1995; Collection SFMOMA; © Richard Serra/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Trains, Feather River Canyon, California.

Philip Guston, Evidence, 1970; Collection SFMOMA; © Estate of Philip Guston

Guided By Voices, “Hey Aardvark,” from the 7″ EP Static Airplane Jive, Recordhead/Luna Music, 1993.

Charles and Ray Eames, Leg Splint, 1942; Collection SFMOMA

Reading of U.S. Congressional vote, 2010 Health Care Reform legislation, recorded live from C-Span.

Wayne Smith is a San Francisco–based visual and sound artist whose glass/collage works were shown recently at Gallery 16. In 2001 he began his ongoing musical project, Aero-Mic’d, which employs combination of field recordings, sampling, and live playing with other musicians. Performances have taken place at Grace Cathedral and Meridian Gallery in San Francisco, and at Schindler House, Los Angeles.

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