Archive for 2009
I was about sixteen years old, I was sitting on my bedroom floor, it was linoleum, I was writing on it with black nailpolish and smoking cigarettes. My mother knew I smoked and she hated it so I was forbidden to smoke outside in the streets where someone might see me and judge her a bad mother for my habits, and I was not allowed to smoke in front of her, because she judged herself a bad mother for my habits. So that left my bedroom and that’s where I was, vandalizing my bedroom, lighting up Marlboro Lights, seeing if anyone wanted ... More
I remember when Tomo was only in one band. It was [Hey] Willpower first, or wait, Window Window, and then Tussle and then Coconut? Maybe his two solo albums came first. I’m not sure that’s right, but I do remember that I was never worried as he was joining up with group after group. He just seemed to snowball into a force that was needed simultaneously by three groups with three distinct sounds. The kind of role I would ordinarily ascribe to a producer or arranger. Not to even mention other pairings that lasted a show or two or were... More
I had to dress up to see Tim Miller at Yerba Buena tonight, because my friends are so fashionable. Like, Page McBee and Michael Braithwaite are the cutest couple ever, both looking like andro Blythe doll with cooler haircuts and more plaid. Page is a writer working on a collection of poetic essays about the body and until recently was stirring shit up as a Bitch Magazine blogger, posting a controversial piece about trans women that really should not have been controversial at all except for pesky 2nd wave feminism rearing its tranemy (that wo... More
[Five questions to SFMOMA visitors, artists, staff, or guests. Here's Timothy Buckwalter in the Koret Visitor Education Center.]
Name/Place of residence/Occupation/Hobby?
Nick, a.k.a kukkurovaca, took this picture of Ellsworth Kelly’s Stele I in the SFMOMA Rooftop Garden. Looks like the person on the left is entering another dimension. The dapper gentleman on the right may have just returned from it.
“There’s no real story to this photograph—If I remember correctly, I had just gone to see the Avedon exhibit for the first time, and the Adams-O’Keeffe for the third or fourth time, probably. I went up to the roof, got a beverage, and sat down to people-watch. I had my camera w... More
[Our monthly feature, Collection Rotation: some wonderful guest organizes a mini-exhibition from our collection works online. This month's guest-curator is the marvelous Fayette Hauser, shining, beautiful Cockette, costume designer, & collector extraordinaire. On December 3, we're hosting the Cockettes for a rare film screening and celebration of... More
I Just returned from Jazz harpist Destiny Muhammad’s Birthday Celebration at the Malonga Casquelord Center for the Arts in Oakland. Tonight Destiny hosted a group of musicians ranging from an extremely impressive youth jazz ensemble (youngest member 10 years old.) to a string trio featuring Vincent Tolliver and Tarika Lewis to internationally recognized artists such as Dwayne Wiggins of Toni! Tony! Tone!
As one of the creative artists and culture workers in West Oakland I’m often times on Pine Street in deep west Oakland talking and interacting with the artists, writers and musicians there. Just last week I stopped in to pay a visit to painter Githinji WaMbire at his 1018 Pine street studio. Githinji is a Kenyan artist working in Oakland. I came to “chop it up” with him and get some healing vibe from his sanctuary. It didn’t take me long to realize that this space is also a stage that Githinji uses to perform the ritual theater ... More
Eileen Myles, my favorite writer in the whole world living or dead, read at Modern Times bookstore Wednesday night. It’s now Friday and I haven’t gotten around to writing about it because I keep being paranoid that I have swine flu and taking to my bed at embarrassing hours. I think I am just exhausted from those tours I was on. Eileen has been traveling the entire world reading from her newest book, The Importance of Being Iceland: Travel Essays in Art. Wednesday night she read from the title essay, which recounts her visit to the... More
I love the matching blue shirts and the Avedon gestures of these two. The pictures come from Anitechi’s flickr, and she writes:
“This trip was our honeymoon, and I was glad there were fabulous exhibitions in my favorite museum. I appreciate that you like these photos. It will be a special experience to see our photos on SFMOMA’s blog.”More
I heard an anecdote somewhere that the three words in the English language that evoke the most visceral response are “free,” “sex,” and “sale.” I’m not exactly sure if there’s a particular order to which is more popular, and it’s funny to think how someone could come up with a good marketing slo... More
I shot the first video anecdote just before catching a train leaving NY Penn Station at a coffee stand with Marisa Jahn. The night before, I had been in a bar near MOMA with Mexican curator Sofía Olascoaga, and after telling her about the general idea she said “Oh, like an anecdote archive?” and I said, “Yes, exactly.” Minutes later Sofía and I were feasting on a Korean dinner with Tom Finkelpearl, director of the Queens Museum. On the way to dinner, Tom gave an incredible account of a performance project, which wo... More
(The second in a two-part series from assistant curator of photography Lisa Sutcliffe, who organized both of our current collection exhibitions of Asian photography: The Provoke Era and Photography Now. Lisa posed a single question to the artists whose works are included in Photography Now. Part one is here.)
This week we’re returning to the question Why Photography Now? Photography Now: China, Japan, Korea presents SFMOMA’s new acquisitions by contemporary photographers working in Asia, and was conceptualized as a companion to our current ... More
Dirt princess seeks unicorn for woodland frolic, I’ll put some shine on that horn…..Desperately seeking Sugar! Hi Sugar, I miss you lady. If yr around and want some awkward conversation call me…..FTMS- Are you feeling the rush of the roids? Wish you could afford a hooker? Call me anytime. I’m into being a worn out mattress. ... More
The second installment of a semi-diaristic series of entries relating to travels and exhibitions in London and New York during October 2009. Read part 1 here
Dear Open Space Diary (heretofore again lovingly referred to as “OSD”),
Gahhhhh! Well, I have utterly failed in my attempt at providing intre... More
While investigating various histories relevant to the Pickpocket Almanack program, Renny Pritikin pointed me to a rare publication surveying SFAI’s brave departure from business as usual, organized by Tom Marioni. It was a year-long series of weekly projects called The Annual or Annual Space. The series involved institutional partnerships and off-site locations including two events at SFMOMA.More
I was instantly charmed by this image of stockings that match the SFMOMA grand staircase and walls. Thanks Marco!
Here’s what he had to say about the shot:
I can tell you a bit about Ariel Schrag because I spent the last 4 weeks introducing her every night on the Sister Spit tour. Ariel grew up in the Bay Area, and did she waste her high school years drinking too much at the Rocky Horror Picture show and falling in love with bisexual witches named Perry? No she did not. Ariel, who went to Berkeley High, began documenting her experience as an out queer in the form of comics. They were ultimately compiled into 4 graphic novels – Awkward and Definition (9th and 10th grade, published in one volu... More
[Part two of a conversation, keyed to our One on One series, between Michelle Barger, deputy head of conservation, and Jennifer Dunlop Fletcher, assistant curator of architecture and design, on Robert Overby's Hall painting, first floor.]
Michelle Barger: How did you come to chose Hall painting, first floor for your One on One talk? Were you familiar with Overby’s work as a commercial designer prior to becoming an artist, and did this play into your decision?
Jennifer Dunlop Fletcher: In 2000, I was working at the UCLA Hammer Museum as the curatorial assistant when Robert Overby: Parallel, 1978-1969 was exhibited, so I have been familiar with all the various strains of his work since then, including the graphic design. However, this was before switching from a curatorial interest in contemporary art to architecture. When I was combing through the permanent collection database recently in search of works for an exhibition proposal, I was thrilled to discover that SFMOMA had one of ... More
[Assistant curator of painting + sculpture Apsara DiQuinzio, on the Utah desert, Robert Smithson's Spiral Jetty, Nancy Holt's Sun Tunnels, and more. Part I is here.]
In August I went to Utah for the first time to continue my art-mediated obsession with desert landscapes. I traveled to a portion of The Great Basin—famous home to the Great Salt Lake,... More
When I paid a visit to “The Fountain Of Giant Teardrops,” Neil LeDoux’s solo show at Silverman Gallery last year, I had seen only a very rough reproduction of one of the paintings in a newspaper. Underneath it was a small story regarding the roots of these pieces.
“He recounted seeing a fountain in the thick Louisiana forests, the fountain’s beauty was so astonishing that he immediately wanted to share it with his friends and family but when he took them back to see it it was nowhere to be found.” This piqued... More
In the mid-90s, on the block of South Van Ness bordered by 16th and 15th streets used to be a little art gallery called Bewegung. It was the brainchild of Heather Haynes, a student at the San Francisco Art Institute. Heather lived in the back and the gallery was in the front. Heather was my best friend for a bunch of that decade, when I was young and just moved to San Francisco. I would come over to the gallery and Heather would be giving the whole space a spiritual cleanse, mopping it with a solution of like cow’s milk and blue crumbly b... More
Rita, a.k.a Seenyarita, snapped this picture at the entrance to the current Richard Avedon exhibition. From time to time, the SFMOMA freight elevator is in use during public hours and the doors open, much to the surprise of visitors. Rita explains her picture better than I could:
“I’ve been to see the Avedon show 3 times now. Probably will go back at least one more time before it’s over. I was intrigued by the way that the image on the elevator parts to reveal another world. I feel that Avedon was able to show worlds to us through portraits on a white background. There was no need to see anything in the background beyond the subject since the portraits themselves spoke volumes.“More
It’s been many years since I’ve called myself a Woody Allen fan. By the early 80s—when I began my hardcore cinephiliac tour of duty—the critical darling of the late 70s had begun churning out such lighter and slighter fare that I was tempted to write him off entirely. By the time he’d entered a run of serious mid-career revi... More