Curatorial Practice News

Posted on Tuesday, June 4, 2013 by Lindsey Westbrook

When Attitudes Became Form Become Attitudes
CCA Wattis Institute, 2013
Office Binder, 278 pages, $40/$75 (regular/special edition)

The CCA Wattis Institute's fall 2012 show, curated by Jens Hoffmann, was a sequel to the legendary 1969 exhibition When Attitudes Become Form curated by Harald Szeemann for the Kunsthalle Bern, Switzerland. This catalogue, designed by Graphic Design faculty Jon Sueda of Stripe/SF, follows the "office binder" format of the original catalogue, and also features works that are interventions directly into the book. The special edition includes a set of three posters by the Brazilian artist Alexandre da Cunha, and the regular edition has one of the three posters.

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Posted on Wednesday, May 15, 2013 by Allison Byers

“Words and Places: Etel Adnan,” organized by the graduating class of the Graduate Program in Curatorial Practice at California College of the Arts, is an impeccably timed exhibition, a gift to those of us who wanted to learn more about Adnan after encountering her paintings and tapestry at last summer’s Documenta.

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"Three hours of sitting in a chair and kissing my girlfriend seemed like an amusing thing to get paid for," muses Susannah Magers (MA Curatorial Practice 2011), reminiscing about the work-study position that she’ll probably always remember as one of the oddest jobs of her career.

Between 2007 and 2012, Magers and dozens of other CCA undergrad and grad students got paid by the college to serve as interpreters of artworks by the contemporary art phenom Tino Sehgal. The Sehgal artworks were presented one at a time, continuously over those six years, at the CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, in conjunction with its regular exhibition programming. The participating students all had to audition, and then, if selected, went through a rigorous training and worked many hours a week for the 12-week duration of the piece.

Often the works called for interactions with gallery visitors that were deliberately disjunctive -- somewhere between pranksterism and institutional critique -- and surprising to many attendees, who showed up expecting a nice, sedate gallery experience rather than some kind of live intervention.

For some of the students it was a thrilling brush with fame in the form of an international art star. For others it was just another (albeit pretty out-there) work-study gig. A few finished their first day in tears. And many came away from the experience with their own artistic or curatorial practice forever changed.

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Posted on Sunday, January 6, 2013 by Lindsey Westbrook

Institutions by Artists
Fillip Editions, 2012
Paperback, 224 pages, $20

Visiting scholar Kristina Lee Podesva edited this book, which includes texts by CCA alumni Peta Rake (MA Curatorial Practice 2012) and Ola El Khalidi (MA Curatorial Practice 2012). Artist-run initiatives in North America provided a space for the presentation and legitimization of experimental work and for the assertion of socially progressive and politically radical ideas and questions. In making such spaces available, artist-run initiatives have operated alternately as flash points for heated debates and controversies, as well as platforms for social understanding and remaining for their audiences. The book presents a collection of texts addressing the performance and promise of contemporary global artist-run centers and initiatives within the historical contexts that saw their emergence. Texts address centers in Amman, Jordan; Brisbane, Australia; Vancouver; Zurich; Tokyo; and Barcelona. The book is published as part of Fillip's ongoing Folio Series, which presents anthologies of new and previously published questions on international contemporary art.

Podesva organized an international conference of the same name as the book. Sessions of the conference are available for viewing at www.arcpost.ca. The Curatorial Practice alumni involved were Peta Rake (2012), Ola El Khalidi (2012), Matt Post (2009), and Chris Fitzpatrick (2009).

Reports on the conference:
http://new.a-n.co.uk/news/single/new-and-old-futures-talking-artist-self...
http://www.canadianart.ca/features/2012/10/17/institutions-by-artists/

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Posted on Sunday, January 6, 2013 by Lindsey Westbrook

Hopelessness Freezes Time: 1967 Detroit Riots, Detroit Techno and Michael Heizer's Dragged Mass
Kunstmuseum Basel, 2011
Hardcover, 100 pages, 25 SwF

Produced on the occasion of Edgar Arceneaux's exhibition at Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Kunstmuseum Basel, Hopelessness Freezes Time: 1967 Detroit Riots, Detroit Techno and Michael Heizer's Dragged Mass presents artworks, research, and writing from the artist’s collaboration with art historian Julian Myers (Curatorial Practice faculty).

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Posted on Sunday, January 6, 2013 by Lindsey Westbrook

Americana: 50 States, 50 Months, 50 Exhibitions
CCA Wattis Institute, 2012
Hardcover, 240 pages, $25

This catalogue, designed by Jon Sueda (Graphic Design faculty), documents a five-year-long series of exhibitions that examined the 50 American states, featuring artworks, historical artifacts, curiosities, and aspects of the overlooked and the little-known. The series was coorganized by Wattis Institute director Jens Hoffmann and CCA's Graduate Program in Curatorial Practice.

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Posted on Monday, December 10, 2012 by Susannah Magers

Pae White, muhf-uhl, 2012

Susannah Magers (MA Curatorial Practice 2011) spent five months in 2012 on site as the visitor engagement manager at the exhibition International Orange, a FOR-SITE Foundation project located in Fort Point, near San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge.

It is the latest and most ambitious project yet produced by the foundation, a San Francisco-based nonprofit dedicated to the production of art about place.

What It's Like to be at International Orange

When I tell people I work in a fort underneath the Golden Gate Bridge, their reaction usually registers surprise, followed by confusion ("Wait . . . where?"). The date is October 25, 2012, and I have spent the past five months, five days a week, on site as the visitor engagement manager at the exhibition International Orange.

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Posted on Thursday, September 20, 2012 by Allison Byers

Last week, Disjecta announced the first exhibition presented by the space's 2012-2013 curator in residence, Josephine Zarkovich. For this first show of the season, Zarkovich brought in Oakland-based artist Suzy Poling, who, according to the press release, "has created a series of large-scale experimental photographs and video installations that address issues of ecology, materiality, and regeneration" in an exhibition titled Elemental Forces.

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Posted on Tuesday, August 28, 2012 by Joyce Grimm

On Wednesday, September 19, 2012, CCA Film and Fine Arts faculty member Lynn Marie Kirby, together with collaborator Alexis Petty, will present The 24th Street Listening Project at the Brava Theater in San Francisco. The evening will include the screening of a new video by Kirby exploring the neighborhood through color and language mapping, a musical performance reflecting local stories and topography, a book release, and the launch of the new website, 24thStreetListeningProject.com.

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Posted on Thursday, May 10, 2012 by Lindsey Westbrook

Will Brown is an actual guy. A very cool and nice guy, according to all who know him, plus a CCA Curatorial Practice graduate student. Once upon a time, not too long ago, Will was spending a lot of time by himself down at 3041 24th Street, which some of you may recognize as the address of the late, great Triple Base gallery. Triple Base was founded in 2006 by CCA Curatorial Practice grads Joyce Grimm and Dina Pugh (both class of 2006) and finally closed in 2011. Toward the end there, the space's main "resident" who was keeping it up and running and officially occupied was their friend Will.

If you've been down to that block of 24th Street in the last few years, around Harrison and Folsom, you know that it has become a lovely haven of art and food while retaining its Mission District feel. So three friends of Dina and Joyce (two of them also alumni of CCA grad programs) decided to step up and take over the lease. The idea of running their own experimental/conceptual gallery space, once conceived, seemed like an offer they couldn't refuse.

The question that almost derailed everything was what to name this new venture, but under their self-imposed 11th-hour wire came the stroke of genius. "Will Brown" is of course a spoof on commercial gallery naming conventions. It is also a benign inside joke, and a well-meant tribute to a friend. Keeping it in the family, so to speak. The three of them also liked the idea of operating as a singular, semi-authorless entity.

The three new proprietors of Will Brown (the gallery) are David Kasprzak (MA Curatorial Practice 2011), Lindsey White (MFA 2007), and Jordan Stein (a 2005 MFA grad of the San Francisco Art Institute). Far easier than picking a name was selecting the theme of their first show, which opened on January 27 and closed March 4. The provocative premise, like the gallery's name, was a refutation of art business as usual, and specifically a play on art ownership and art-world transactions. Illegitimate Business featured artworks and ephemera "with a peculiar provenance," in other words acquired by their (anonymous) lenders under less-than-totally-up-and-up circumstances. The original concept came from old conversations with the curators' artist friends Zachary Royer Scholz (MFA 2006, MA Visual and Critical Studies 2009) and Brion Nuda Rosch.

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