Carissa Rodriguez Solo Exhibition at the CCA Wattis Institute December 8 - February 10

Carissa Rodriguez, It's Symptomatic / What Would Edith Say, 2015Carissa Rodriguez, It's Symptomatic / What Would Edith Say, 2015 (digital C-print mounted on aluminum)



I’m normal. I have a garden. I’m a person.

Carissa Rodriguez

December 8, 2015 – February 10, 2016

Curated by Jamie Stevens

San Francisco, Calif., November 5, 2015—The CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts in San Francisco will present an installation of new work by Carissa Rodriguez (b. 1970, New York). Rodriguez is a Capp Street artist in residence, and the exhibition marks the end of a three-month residency in San Francisco. Free and open to the public, the exhibition preview is on December 8, 2015, and the show runs through February 10, 2016.

As an artist based in New York and temporary guest on the West Coast, Rodriguez follows a personal line of inquiry into everyday life in the Bay Area as it is purportedly being reorganized around the interests of technology industries and their constituents. Confronted by this distinct contemporary habitus -- its lifestyles, tastes, and values -- Rodriguez has produced a body of photographic work in which relationships between images raise questions about the construction of the “creative life” as it plays out publicly and privately.

Rodriguez's work is often context-specific and not driven by any defining material in its aim to assume the role of medium itself, or “the corollary opposite of the signature object,” as she puts it. Through a series of displacements between image, site, and context, the exhibition takes specific design proposals into account in order to ask, What makes life succulent?

The work on display at CCA Wattis includes photography, sculpture, installation, and a new piece of writing by the artist. Rodriguez’s approach to exhibition making is often determined through an address of the institutions and spaces within which her work will be situated. Roberta Smith (the New York Times, September 5, 2013) wrote: “Rodriguez is a latter-day Conceptual artist with a preference for physical perfection similar to appropriationist precursors like Sherrie Levine, Louise Lawler and Sarah Charlesworth. Her efforts here center on the business, display and collection of art; different modes of site-specificity; and the circle, or cylinder, as a recurring form.”

After earning a degree in literature at the New School for Social Research in 1994, Rodriguez held her first exhibition in 1996 at American Fine Arts, New York. Her 1998 breakthrough project The Stand with designer Jodi Busby went on to exhibitions at P.S. 1 Museum, The Swiss Institute, and American Fine Arts, all in New York  (1999); The Royal College of Art, London, Gastatelier Fleetinsel, Hamburg, and TENT Centrum Beeldende Kunst, Rotterdam (2000); and KW Kunst-Werke, Berlin (2004).

Her first solo exhibition was at Forde, Geneva, in 2000 under the curatorship of Mai-Thu Perret and Fabrice Stroun. From 2001 to 2002, Rodriguez used a grant from the Van Lier Fellowship to attend the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program, where she collaborated on a work for the final exhibition with fellow ISP participant Gardar Eide Einarsson.

Rodriguez was a founding director of the gallery Reena Spaulings in New York. Recent exhibitions include La Collectionneuse, Front Desk Apparatus, New York (2013); Indipendenza, Rome (2014); The Contract, Essex Street, New York (2014); and Supply Lines (curated by Richard Birkett), National Gallery of Kosovo, Kosovo (2015).

About the Capp Street Residency Project

Founded in San Francisco in 1983 by Ann Hatch, the Capp Street Project was the first visual arts residency in the United States dedicated solely to the creation and presentation of new art installations. The organization took its name from the house at 65 Capp Street designed by the artist David Ireland. Since its inception, Capp Street Project has given more than 100 local, national, and international artists the opportunity to create new work through its residency and public exhibition programs. Capp Street Project became part of the Wattis Institute in 1998. Last year’s Capp Street resident was Berlin-based artist Nairy Baghramian.

About the CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts

CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts is a nonprofit exhibition venue and research institute dedicated to contemporary art. It was founded in 1998 at California College of the Arts in San Francisco. The Wattis Institute is a place for showing art and for thinking about art. We spend time with artists and pay close attention to their ideas.

As an exhibition space, we commission and show new work by artists from around the world. As a research institute, we dedicate six months to reflecting on the work of a single artist, which informs a regular series of public events, texts, and research by other relevant artists and thinkers. The Wattis Institute is a headquarters for contemporary art and ideas for everyone in the Bay Area. For more information about the Wattis Institute, visit

About California College of the Arts

Founded in 1907, California College of the Arts (CCA) offers 22 undergraduate and 13 graduate programs in the areas of fine arts, architecture, design, and writing. The college offers BFA, BA, MFA, MA, MBA, BArch, MArch, MAAD, and MDes degrees.

Noted alumni include the artists Nathan Oliveira, Jules de Balincourt, Robert Arneson, Robert Bechtle, Viola Frey, and Peter Voulkos; the Oscar-winning filmmaker Audrey Marrs; the illustrator Tomie de Paola; the conceptual artists Harrell Fletcher, David Ireland, and Dennis Oppenheim; and the designers Lucille Tenazas, Michael Vanderbyl, and Gary Hutton. For more information about CCA, visit


December 8, 2015 – February 10, 2016

I’m normal. I have a garden. I’m a person.

Carissa Rodriguez

Location: CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, 360 Kansas Street (between 16th and 17th), San Francisco
Gallery hours: Tues.–Fri., noon–7 p.m.; Sat., noon–5 p.m.; closed Sun. and Mon.
Cost: Free
Information: 415.355.9673,,

Laura Braun, 415.703.9541,