On Monday, we’ll go dark for our annual August break, a time when we can reassess our various behind-the-scenes ways of working and prepare for the fall season.
And, of course, we’ll look back, at a publishing year full of incredible collaborations, a museum-world first, and, as ever, myriad fantastic contributions from artists near and far, which we’ll be reminding you of throughout August.
As is our habit, we celebrated the 2016–17 season with an art party, this time at Classic Cars West (invitation only! If you want to come to the next one, sign up for our mailing list, at the bottom of this or any OS page). Such a great night!
The text of my toast is below. See you in a month!
Good Evening Everyone
Thanks so much for being here. It’s lovely to gather with contributors, readers, and collaborators to celebrate another year of publishing, before Open Space goes dark for our annual August break. Thank you as ever to my superlative SFMOMA team, Bosco, Gordon, Jay, Talia, Zach, and especially Grace, who did most of the work to make this party happen; and thank you to the folks at Classic Cars West, for being such generous hosts; please do show them your nifty Open Space stamp in order to get happy hour drink prices, in addition to your free drink tickets.
As is becoming our habit, we wanted to mix this party with some art offerings, and I’d like to say just a few words about each of these.
First, the music you’ve been listening to: this fabulous mix comes courtesy of the multidisciplinary sound artist Fanciulla Gentile, who was one of the artists featured in Night Scene, an audiovisual series curated this winter by Open Space’s indispensable managing editor Gordon Faylor. Fanciulla writes of the two-hour mix: “My inspiration was the anatomy of cars, it’s blood & guts, and its relationship to human bodies/perception.”
So good; I’ve been listening to it all week at home, it’s great to hear it over proper speakers, in a public space. And I’m excited to announce to you all tonight that Fanciulla will join us this fall as a columnist in residence. We can’t wait to see, or hear, what she makes.
Our second artist is the painter, photographer, and collagist Mark Harris. After reading about Mark’s work being removed from the lobby of the administrative offices of the East Side Union High School District in San Jose, we reached out to him this spring to see if he would be interested in ruminating on what it means to be working in public spaces, and how he sees the role of the artist as public intellectual in society today. He responded with a video — our first video contribution to the Work on Work column. When we were planning this party, we thought it would be great to have a few of those removed works up for a pop up show, to bring them into the public sphere once more.
Our third offering is another Open Space first, and it’s something you can take home with you: Younger Than Yesterday, a chapbook by poet Alan Bernheimer, which includes lots of delicious jottings from notebooks Alan kept in the ‘70s, just as he was arriving in San Francisco. Younger Than Yesterday, which was designed by Gordon in collaboration with Alan and the occasional assist by me, is available for free download as our latest Project Space, where you can play with different types of paper and bindings in order to assemble a unique object; but we couldn’t resist printing out a few for tonight (thank you Talia for assembling!), especially as Alan is here, pen at the ready, should you want to get a signed copy. I certainly plan to.
And finally, we are about to see something very special: ascensions, by the filmmaker tooth. This gorgeous silent film was also a Project Space commission; and I would urge you to visit that page as well, especially to read tooth’s accompanying text, which begins with this Hélène Cixous quote:
“…to be human we need to experience the end of the world. We need to lose the world, to lose a world, and to discover that there is more than one world and that the world isn’t what we think it is. Without that, we know nothing about the mortality and immortality we carry.”
The Project Space video version is strictly for home viewing. However, tooth is on hand tonight with the 16 mm film print, and as soon as I stop talking we’ll all get to see a site-specific screening.
So, without further ado, please raise your glasses, so that we can toast these artists, and toast Open Space — which really means toasting yourselves, since none of this would be possible without all of you. I’m continually humbled and delighted by all that you do: thank you.