Discussion of Make You Notice at San Francisco Arts Commission Gallery

April 1, 2008 · Print This Article

Bad at Sports contributer Patricia Maloney will be leading a brown bag lunch discussion of her most recent curatorial project Make You Notice at the San Francisco Arts Commission Gallery this Tuesday April 15 from 12 – 1pm. San Francisco listeners should come check out the great work.

Make You Notice features video, photography and ephemera by four contemporary women artists who utilize performance in diverse practices, seamlessly integrating collaboration, activism, irony, and optimism into their work. The exhibition features the artists Lisa Anne Auerbach, Kate Gilmore, Laura Swanson, and Jenifer Wofford.

The San Francisco Arts Commission Gallery is one of many organizations currently showcasing artwork by women. Other exhibitions are:

The Way That We Rhyme, YBCA, March 29 – June 29

We Interrupt Your Program, Mills College, January 16 – March 16

Small Things End, Great Things Endure, New Langton, January 17 – March 15

Conduits of Labor, Queen’s Nails Annex, January 18 – February 24

Women, Power, Politics
, International Museum of Women, March 8 – December 31

Abdessemed Exhibition Closed Under Threats of Violence

March 30, 2008 · Print This Article

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San Francisco Art Institute has canceled closed the controversial Abdessemed exhibition as well as the public forum. The exhibition was curated by Hou Hanru, who was interviewed by us in Episode 129.

From the SFAI Website:

In response to a series of violent threats by animal-rights extremists, the San Francisco Art Institute announced today that the public discussion on Adel Abdessemed’s exhibition Don’t Trust Me, scheduled for Monday, 31 March, has been canceled. For the same reasons, the exhibition itself, which was temporarily suspended on Wednesday, 26 March, has now been permanently closed.

“We unconditionally repudiate these threats against SFAI,” stated President Chris Bratton: “My first concern is with the safety and security of SFAI’s students, faculty, staff, and their families, as well as members of the public that regularly visit the campus. In light of the violent threats by extremists against this institution, we are unfortunately forced to cancel any public discussion or display regarding this artwork.”

Soon after it opened, the Abdessemed exhibition became the subject of an orchestrated campaign by a number of animal-rights groups, including Animal Liberation Front (ALF), In Defense of Animals (IDA), and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). One result of this campaign was a parallel onslaught of explicit death threats and threats of sexual violence against SFAI staff members and their families. The swift escalation from controversy to credible threats has regrettably forced SFAI to make a decision unprecedented in its 137-year history.

“Though we’ve decided to take this action,” continued President Bratton, “SFAI stands behind the exhibition as an instance of a long-standing and serious commitment, on SFAI’s part, to reflection on, and free and open discussion of, contemporary global art and culture. As an institution, we take seriously our responsibility to encourage and promote such dialogue.”

“The artist,” continued President Bratton, “participated in an already-existing circuit of food production in a rural community in Mexico. The animals were raised for food, purchased, and professionally slaughtered. In fact, what causes the controversy is that Abdessemed, an artist, entered this exchange, filmed it, and exhibited it.”

“Here, then, is a case where highly local assumptions about how things are produced have come to inform how the world itself is seen. In general, consumption in the US is fueled by things produced out of sight and from far away. In many cultures, particularly those of the global south including Mexico, the killing of animals for food is often direct and present, not concealed from sight as is the case of industrialized food production here. This distinction is certainly relevant to Don’t Trust Me. Admittedly, this is an uncomfortable confrontation for some, but is nevertheless a real condition not only for animals, but also for the people whose lives are bound up with them. Simply stated, it is an outrage that threats of violence have, in this case, succeeded in derailing a public debate on issues that are critical to our everyday lives.”

The press release can be found here.

Controversial Exhibition Suspended In San Francisco

March 28, 2008 · Print This Article

Adel Show An exhibition at the San Francisco Art Institute’s (SFAI) Walter And McBean Galleries has been suspended after the gallery received over 3000 emails from students, faculty, and community members in protest. Don’t Trust Me is French artist Adel Abdessemed’s first exhibition on the West Coast. The controversial work consists of several monitors, each showing looped footage of a tethered animal – a goat, an ox, a horse, a sheep, a pig, and a fawn – being hit on the head with sledge hammer. In addition to the contentious footage, the exhibition includes a large neon brain, a series of wall drawings, and a large video installation that features the artist hanging from a helicopter while trying to draw Gericault’s Raft Of The Medusa (1818).

The institute is having an open forum at 12PM Monday at their lecture hall where concerned individuals will be able to discuss the issues surrounding the work with Director of Exhibitions and Public Programs and former BAS interviewee Hou Hanru, Dean of Academic Affairs Okwui Enwezor, and institute professors and artists John Rapko and Tony Labat. If you happen to be in the area, please come.

Mining the media fallout:

The San Francisco FOX affiliate KTVU did a short segment on the exhibition, watch it here.

SFAI has a statement out on Tuesday.

San Rafael-based animal rights organization In Defense Of Animals has referred to the videos as animal snuff films, you can link to their interpretation of the exhibition, here.

San Francisco SPCA has released a statement condemning the exhibition, read that here.

You can find a stream of comments on the show at www.nonstarvingartists.com, and of course on the PETA website, here.

The San Francisco Examiner published an article about the exhibition, read that here.

Elkins Stone Theory Institute part 1

March 20, 2008 · Print This Article

Finally, after a six month wait, it is here…

The audio from the 2007 Stone Summer Theory Institute: Is Art History Global?

This will be a series of six or seven 2-4 hour excerpts from the week-long event. In advance of the second iteration “What is an Image?”  You can find more info and the application for the 2008 Institute at… http://www.stonesummertheoryinstitute.org

The 2007 participants can be viewed at http://www.badatsports.com/megsmagic/2007-panorama.jpg

Keep in mind that this audio is rough “B-side stuff,” but nonetheless provides a chance to go behind the curtain on this thoughtful conversation.

In this episode we present… “The Intro Round Table Event.”

http://badatsports.com/elkins/Intro_To_Stone_Institute.mp3

From The Stone Summer Theory Institute Site…

2007: The Globalization of Art, co-organized with Zhivka Valiavicharska

The book will be co-edited with Alice Kim; please see the book series for more information.

The “biennale culture” now determines much of the art market. Literature on the worldwide dissemination of art assumes nationalism and ethnic identity, but rarely analyzes it. At the same time, there is extensive theorizing about globalization in politics, postcolonial theory, economics, sociology, and anthropology.

This was the first event of the series to bring political theorists together with writers and historians concerned specifically the visual arts and its art history.

Seminars were taught by Fredric Jameson, Harry Harootunian, Thomas DaCosta Kaufmann, Shigemi Inaga, Susan Buck-Morss, James Elkins, and Zhivka Valiavicharska.

Ebay Art Scam Broken Up In Chicago

March 20, 2008 · Print This Article

Pablo Picasso, Marc Chagall and Andy Warhol were among artists whose works were counterfeited by seven people indicted for two art-fraud schemes that reaped a combined $5 million.

Those charged include three Europeans and residents of New York, Florida and Illinois, Chicago U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald said today in a statement. They sold thousands of fake prints in the U.S., Canada, Australia, Japan and Europe, he alleged.

“Most of us have never owned a work of art signed by Picasso,” Fitzgerald said today at a press conference. Some people who believed they did, he added, “bought fakes.”

Some of the prints in the scam were sold on EBay Inc., the world’s largest online auctioneer, Fitzgerald alleged. Others were funneled through two art dealers in Northbrook, Illinois, prosecutors claimed. [Read more]