December 11, 2017

Open Space is pleased to announce…

1. Michelle Handelman, Hustlers & Empires, 2018; production still; photo: Mr. Means; 2. Cecilia Eliceche, Dance Concerts, 2016; Photo: Dena Beard, courtesy The Lab; 3. Netta Yerushalmy, Paramodernities #2 and #3, 2017; photo: Paula Lobo; courtesy ODC Theater 4. Lucia Berlin; photo: Buddy Berlin, courtesy Z Space; 5. Photo: Robbie Sweeney, courtesy CounterPulse; 6. Open Space​.

1. Michelle Handelman, Hustlers & Empires, 2018; production still; photo: Mr. Means; 2. Cecilia Eliceche, Dance Concerts, 2016; Photo: Dena Beard, courtesy The Lab; 3. Netta Yerushalmy, Paramodernities #2 and #3, 2017; photo: Paula Lobo; courtesy ODC Theater 4. Lucia Berlin; photo: Buddy Berlin, courtesy Z Space; 5. Photo: Robbie Sweeney, courtesy CounterPulse; 6. Open Space​.

Open Space, SFMOMA’s contemporary arts and culture interdisciplinary platform, is pleased to announce Limited Edition, an online and live program dedicated to performance in San Francisco during the 2018 winter season. The result of an unprecedented partnership between CounterPulse, ODC Theater, Performance at SFMOMA, The Lab, and Z Space, Limited Edition builds on Open Space’s history of collaborative, place-based explorations. As sites for well-resourced arts writing continue to be imperiled, and as vital independent arts spaces struggle to stay afloat in the face of rapid gentrification and decreased arts funding, Limited Edition seeks to address a crucial need for the creation of smart context around contemporary culture.

“Interdisciplinary collaboration is at the heart of Open Space, along with a commitment to supporting diverse voices and approaches,” says Editor-in-Chief Claudia La Rocco. “We’re excited to be working with these vibrant organizations, as they incubate and present contemporary work. So much of what we know of performances from past decades comes from first-hand accounts; Open Space is honored to commission new writing on the live work of our time and place.”

The theme of this year’s Limited Edition is “Forward-Looking Lineages”:

Artists and institutions intent on interrogating the present moment are also, inevitably, interrogating the past. Among many other things, “contemporary performance” is a set of traditions, enriched and bedeviled by questions of ownership, of legacy, of the authentic and the appropriated. Open Space will explore these questions through the work produced and supported by a cohort of San Francisco organizations; over the course of roughly three months, this collaboration will yield performances, discussions and gatherings at various locations throughout the city, with commissioned texts and other works appearing regularly on Open Space.

Limited Edition will kick off January 11–13 with the premiere of Rashaun Mitchell and Silas Riener’s site-specific, improvisational work DESIRE LINES: RETROFIT at SFMOMA, unfolding during Robert Rauschenberg: Erasing the Rules, a retrospective highlighting collaborative and interdisciplinary aspects of Rauschenberg’s practice, which was part of the inspiration for Limited Edition. Limited Edition will be anchored by two extended live “moments” across the five organizations, featuring local premieres and commissions of new work by artists from the Bay Area and across the country. More detailed information can be found here.

Highlights include:

February 14–24

  • The Lab’s site-specific series at the 16th Street BART plaza
  • Performances by Cori Olinghouse and Netta Yerushalmy at ODC Theater
  • Word for Word’s production of Lucia Berlin: Stories at Z Space

March 12–18

  • The inaugural CounterPulse Festival
  • Premieres by Michelle Handelman and BodyCartography Project at SFMOMA

These performances will be extended through discursive events created in partnership with Open Space, as well as analytical, artistic, and critical pieces by artists, writers, and thinkers, published in this series. Contributors include choreographer and dancer Gerald Casel, writer and historian Megan Metcalf, and curator and producer Meiyin Wang.

For all inquiries, please email


Housed within SFMOMA’s Department of Community Engagement, Open Space is a W.A.G.E. Certified, interdisciplinary arts and culture platform. We are committed to diversity and collaboration, and dedicated to unruly, non-instrumentalized gestures. Anchored in the Bay Area, Open Space commissions and supports critical + experimental + poetic ruminations by artists, writers, and thinkers from all over the world, as well as hosting parties, performances, and other live events.



CounterPulse is a space for art and community that is building a movement of risk-taking art that shatters assumptions and builds community. We provide space and resources for emerging artists and cultural innovators, serving as an incubator for the creation of socially relevant, community-based art and culture. CounterPulse acts as a catalyst for art and action; creating a forum for the open exchange of art and ideas, sparking transformation in our communities and our society. We work towards a world that celebrates diversity of race, class, cultural heritage, artistic expression, ability, gender identity, and sexual orientation. We strive to create an environment that is physically and economically accessible to everyone.



The Lab believes that if we give artists enough time, space, and funding to realize their vision, the work they produce will change the way we experience the world and each other. These propositions challenge the familiar ways we perceive value, and so we seek out extraordinary artists who are underrepresented as a result of gender, class, race, sexuality, or geography, and whose work is not easily defined and therefore monetized. As a site of constant iteration and indeterminacy, The Lab is, above all, a catalyst for artistic experimentation.



ODC Theater exists to empower and develop innovative artists. It participates in the creation of new works through commissioning, presenting, mentorship and space access; it develops informed, engaged and committed audiences; and advocates for the performing arts as an essential component to the economic and cultural development of our community. This 170-seat venue is the site of more than 150 performances a year involving nearly 1,000 local, regional, national, and international artists. Since 1976, ODC Theater has been the mobilizing force behind countless San Francisco artists and the foothold for national and international touring artists seeking debut in the Bay Area. The Theater, founded by Brenda Way and currently under the direction of Julie Potter, has earned its place as a cultural incubator by dedicating itself to creative change-makers, those leaders who give the Bay Area its unmistakable definition and flair. Nationally known artists Spaulding Gray, Diamanda Galas, Bill T. Jones, Eiko & Koma, Ronald K. Brown/EVIDENCE, Karole Armitage, Sarah Michelson, Brian Brooks and John Heginbotham are among those whose first San Francisco appearance occurred at ODC Theater.



Performance at SFMOMA explores and honors the ways that artists think about objects and experiences. Through our commitment to new work, key artists, and our audiences, we provide a forum for understanding creative processes. SFMOMA has a long-standing history of presenting groundbreaking live performance experiences, dating back to the 1940s. By 1959, SFMOMA was a regular venue for a wide range of live performances, including experimental music, sound events, light shows, and more. Each year, we commission artists to consider new ways of presenting their work in a gallery context. From daytime family events to nights out, audiences have a unique opportunity to follow works in progress and establish relationships with our artists. All access, and often all ages, we invite you to leave your devices behind and join us in real time.



Z Space empowers artistic risk, collaboration, and camaraderie amongst artists, audience and staff in the service of creating, developing, and presenting new work. Operating two venues in San Francisco’s historic Mission District, a mainstage and a black box theater, Z Space develops, produces, presents, and commissions new works from a variety of performance disciplines year-round. Keystone initiatives include New Work, a development program that supports artists and ensembles from conception to realization of unique works, Word for Word, a resident theatre company that transforms works of literature verbatim to the stage, and Youth Arts, an arts education program promoting literacy and engaging students’ creativity. We foster opportunities around the nation for these works and we engage diverse audiences through direct interactions with the process, the projects, and the artists.

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