The factors that shape and reshape our feelings of connection to place are many, from cultural upbringing, imposed ethnic stereotypes, nationalism, and migration, to the policy dictations of the US census. In Pointless Show, CCA MFA students Arash Fayez and Christie Noh point to the ambiguities of identity and the constant construction and reconstruction of subjectivity in relation to place. The artists use manipulated maps, found-footage, counterfeit radio stations, interviews, and surveys to question what and who shape their subjectivities as Asian American/Asian/Iranian/Middle Eastern/American artists.
Through the infiltration of a work environment, Fayez and Noh ask sweeping questions about Asian identity and how it shifts based on where one is located in the moment. Occupying the Kearny Street Workshop (KSW) office as gallery as office, the artists play with our own perceptions of where we are and what that means. Is what we experience in KSW a part of everyday office life? Is it art? Both? Their approach is playful, swapping names, bodies, locations, and voices, drawing on their own experiences and directly engaging others.
Pointless Show is the first of four programs in Touring the Social Imaginary, a series of exhibitions and participatory, public programs across the Bay Area organized by PLAySPACE, that map the social imaginary using research-intensive processes to ask questions about places and the people that inhabit them.
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PLAySPACE, The Paulette Long and Shepard Pollack Art Community Experiment, is a graduate student-run exhibition program. It provides the resources for student curators to conceptualize and present programming that is especially appropriate for, and oriented towards, the academic community. This programming is presented in various venues and locations throughout the community.
Kearny Street Workshop (KSW) is the nation's oldest multidisciplinary Asian American arts organization. For the past 40 years, KSW has nurtured creative spirit, offered an important platform for new voices to be heard, and connected artists with community. Every three months, in their office, KSW presents a debut solo show featuring an emerging Asian Pacific American artist. With this program, KSW makes use of the white walls, bright light, and high ceilings of their workspace as an opportunity for Asian Pacific American artists all year round.