On Monday, our home page will be taken over by a beach scene as we take our usual August publishing break. We, alas, will not be at the beach, but will be taking care of behind-the-scenes maintenance and preparing for the fall season. We’ll also be launching Signals from the West: Bay Area Artists in Conversation with Merce Cunningham at 100; we’re so excited about this collaboration, and encourage you to come to the opening public events August 16 and 23.
And as always you can find us on Twitter and Instagram — please follow us there if you’d like to stay in the loop, or sign up for our newsletter (which you can do at the bottom of this or any OS page). In August we’ll be posting highlights from the past year, including the (de)composition workshops, the 147 Minna series and installation, three new issues of our magazine, and, as always, myriad contributions from artists near and far.
The newsletter, by the way, is where you’ll get an invitation to our summer art party, an annual celebration for our collaborators, contributors, and audiences. We held this year’s gathering at Aggregate Space Gallery a few weeks ago; thanks to all who came out. Below you’ll find my introduction from that night for Corrina Gould, the spokesperson for the Confederated Villages of Lisjan/Ohlone, and the text of my toast, along with several of Andréa Nieto‘s photographs from the party.
See you after Labor Day!
Good evening everyone. I’m Claudia La Rocco, Editorial Director of SFMOMA’s Open Space. I’ll be offering a toast a little while later. But first I would like to introduce our very special guest, Corrina Gould, who will be delivering a land acknowledgment for us tonight.
Corrina is the spokesperson for the Confederated Villages of Lisjan/Ohlone. She was born and raised in Oakland, CA, the territory of Huichuin. She is an activist who has worked on preserving and protecting the ancient burial sites of her ancestors in the Bay Area for decades. She is the Co-founder and a Lead Organizer for Indian People Organizing for Change, a small Native run grassroots organization, and co-founder of the Sogorea Te Land Trust, an urban Indigenous women’s community organization working to return land to Indigenous stewardship in San Francisco’s East Bay.
Hi Again Everyone,
There are so many thanks to give. First, to Corrina, for the beautiful land acknowledgment. For reminding us where we stand.
And thanks so much to all of you for being here tonight. Each year we like to gather to celebrate all of you for making Open Space such a rich, vibrant home for arts and ideas, whether as contributors and participants or readers and audience members. Welcome, or welcome back, whichever the case may be…
As always, deepest gratitude to my SFMOMA co-conspirators, Bosco Hernandez, Chad Coerver, Gordon Faylor, Grace Ambrose, and Zach Rubin-Rattet. A special shout to Grace, our editor-at-large, who recently left SFMOMA to embark on a residency and travels; we’re excited to see where her adventures lead.
I’d like to also thank Conrad and Willis for hosting us at Aggregate Space Gallery: as I imagine most of you know, they announced earlier this year that the gallery was being displaced, the landlord having enacted a nearly fifty-percent rent increase. You’ll notice the Aggregate merch table here, and their fundraiser kicks off Tuesday; we wish them the very best in the search for a new space, and thank them for the work they do supporting artists.
It is a privilege to do this work. On this night, I’d like to take a moment to remember and honor one very special artist: the poet, playwright, essayist, New Narrative force, reading series impresario, historian, font of esoteric knowledge, and all around Bay Area linchpin Kevin Killian, who passed away suddenly on the fifteenth. Kevin began writing for Open Space almost as soon as the platform launched: he authored the very first columnist post, and his last contribution arrived in December. We miss him dearly, and we send our deepest condolences to his loved ones — most especially to Dodie Bellamy, his wife and frequent collaborator, who also has a long connection to Open Space. Rest in peace, Kevin.
Kevin loved a good party, and he loved connecting with fellow artists. And so we honor his memory tonight by honoring all of you, and the contributions large and small you make to the various cultures and communities that make up the Bay Area.
As has become our habit, we build these parties around several art offerings, each created by artists who we’ve worked with in the past year. I’ll say just a few words about each of these.
Sarah Cargill is a performing artist, cultural worker, and freelance curator, currently living in her hometown, San Francisco. We’ve been graced by her writing on Open Space, and tonight she’ll offer us a special musical performance; she’s told me a bit of what she’s working on, and I can’t wait to see and hear it.
Xandra Ibarra is an Oakland-based performance and visual artist; like Sarah, she seems to do it all, and in such style. Last fall, we were lucky to have her as a columnist, and during that tenure she gave us a taste of the video we’re looping tonight in the screening room. She’ll say a few words about that in just a minute.
Kate Robinson Beckwith is a writer, book artist, and publisher, also based in Oakland. She unfortunately couldn’t be with us tonight, but she’s here courtesy of the beautiful limited edition of prints she made specially for this party. They’re free for the taking; we hope you enjoy.1
Please raise your glasses, so that we can toast Kate, Xandra, Sarah, and Kevin — as well as all of you!
Now, it’s my great pleasure to hand the microphone over to Xandra.
- In a subsequent email exchange, responding to my query about whether the print has a title (it does not) and if she'd like me to contextualize the work in any particular way in this post, Kate wrote that "I'm sort of on the fence about saying more about the print. There is more I could say, but I also loathe didactic approaches to art. Originally I was going to make a sign to go next to the prints, but I got too busy with travel stuff. This is what it would have said: These prints are the result of a meditation on process and sustenance. Each layer issues forth from a focused engagement with the one that came before, and each takes on a different approach. Materials included range from an 80s pop song, nothingness, deteriorating linoleum, wood type, mylar, and the repetition of an arm rolling a brayer across 300 individual sheets of paper." And a note to our OS contributors, collaborators, and participants who weren't able to attend: we're happy to get a print to you, while our stock lasts. Just holler.