Lynn Hershman Leeson
Rosie Lee Tompkins
Group show and a permanent exhibition
Participating artists: Ant Farm, Robert Bechtle, Wallace Berman, The Cockettes, Bruce Conner, Jay DeFeo, Emory Douglas, Yun Gee, Anna Halprin, Lynn Hershman Leeson, Jess, Paul Kos, Dorothea Lange, José Montoya, Diego Rivera, Achilles Rizzoli, Ed Rossbach, Mario Savio, Rosie Lee Tompkins, Katherine Westphal
With a selection of artifacts from the collection of the Society of California Pioneers, San Francisco. Drawing an analogy between the achievements of a number of pioneering artists from the last 100 years and the defining character of the California pioneers of the nineteenth century, Pioneers will take the form of both a cultural history display and an exhibition of artworks by pioneering figures from the San Francisco Bay Area, with the two strands interrelated, overlapping, and interwoven.
With its starting point in a selection of artifacts that document San Francisco's gold rush--era origins, Pioneers expresses the founding impulses that continue to resonate with the city's social and cultural climate--its particular independence, tolerance, progressiveness, and internationalism. The twentieth century marked a period of intense creative and political activity, during which a large number of radically innovative practices were established in San Francisco and elsewhere. The city became home to several artists who were equally pioneering and who helped establish the Bay Area as a center of artistic experimentation that reflected in microcosm larger social and political actions and initiatives. Pioneers seeks to identify some of these artistic figures who developed their own unique, pioneering practices in choreography, performance art, film, photography, painting, craft, and political graphics.
Pioneers is part of the first group of presentations by the new curatorial team at the Wattis Institute. With this exhibition we hope to present ourselves to audiences as the pioneers that we aim to be in our specific field--that of exhibition making. Pioneers reveals our fascination with the city of San Francisco, its history as much as its current realities, and the beginning of a more extended investigation into the art and culture of the Bay Area, California, and North America.
About the CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts The CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts was established in 1998 in San Francisco at California College of the Arts. It serves as a forum for the presentation and discussion of international contemporary art and curatorial practice. Through groundbreaking exhibitions, the Capp Street Project residency program, lectures, symposia, and publications, the Wattis Institute has become one of the leading art institutions in the United States and an active site for contemporary culture in the Bay Area.
Lead sponsorship for Pioneers is provided by the Fleishhacker Foundation. Founding support for CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts programs has been provided by Phyllis C. Wattis and Judy and Bill Timken. Generous support provided by the Phyllis C. Wattis Foundation, Grants for the Arts / San Francisco Hotel Tax Fund, Ann Hatch and Paul Discoe, and the CCA Curator's Forum.
The CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts presents Tino Sehgal's first solo show in the United States, opening September 5, 2007, and on view indefinitely thereafter. This permanent exhibition will feature all of Sehgal's existing works to date as well as new works configured specifically for the Wattis Institute. The pieces will be presented one at a time and will appear concurrently with the Wattis's other exhibitions and programs.
Taking the framework of a traditional retrospective but removing its time constraints, this continuous, gradual presentation of a single artist's oeuvre will allow audiences to follow and engage with Sehgal's practice in new ways. The project will also investigate how an art institution can commit to the development and understanding of one artist's career in a manner that extends beyond the confines of conventional exhibition practice.
Sehgal does not produce material objects. Rather, he engages his audiences through transformative actions without producing anything tangible or object-based that would leave a physical trace. Coming from a background in dance and economics, both of which continue to influence him, he stages situations that are enacted in a gallery space by one or several people over the duration of an exhibition. His past works have involved a person rolling on the floor (Instead of allowing some thing to rise up to your face dancing bruce and dan and other things, 2000), a couple engaged in a kiss (Kiss, 2002), and four generations discussing the relative merits of progress (This Progress, 2006). Sehgal has worked with a diverse range of interpreters, including academics, children, school classes, the socially disadvantaged, and museum guards, using the human voice, language, movement, and social interaction to create ephemeral works of art that are intended to challenge, and enchant, the viewer.
Founding support for CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts programs has been provided by Phyllis C. Wattis and Judy and Bill Timken. Generous support provided by the Phyllis C. Wattis Foundation, Grants for the Arts / San Francisco Hotel Tax Fund, Ann Hatch and Paul Discoe, and the CCA Curator's Forum.
CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts
1111 Eighth Street - San Francisco