Curatorial Practice News

Posted on Monday, July 11, 2011 by Lindsey Westbrook

Give Them the Picture
CCA, 2011
Paperback, 203 pages, $20

Give Them the Picture collects and places in dialogue 24 articles penned by critics and artists that originally appeared in La Mamelle / ART COM magazine in the 1970s and 1980s. The authors include magazine founder Carl Loeffler, Lynn Hershman, Richard Irwin, Anna Couey, Linda Montano, Douglas Davis, Eleanor Antin, and others. It is conceived as a literary extension of the Graduate Program in Curatorial Practice 2011 thesis exhibition, and thus also features conversations between the student curators and two of La Mamelle / ART COM's key figures, Nancy Frank and Darlene Tong. The book is a copublication between the CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts and the Graduate Program in Curatorial Practice.

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Posted on Monday, June 27, 2011 by Lindsey Westbrook

Charles Ferguson and Audrey Marrs win the best documentary feature award for Inside Job (photo: Mark Ralston, Getty Images)

From the mosh pits of Olympia, Washington, to collecting an Oscar on stage at the Staples Center. From indie music scenester to hit documentary maker. (With a stop along the way in CCA's Graduate Program in Curatorial Practice.)

Audrey Marrs -- former punk rock musician, Ladyfest cofounder, and CCA alumna -- won the 2011 Academy Award for best documentary feature for producing Inside Job, the story of the 2008 financial crisis. The statuette was handed over to Marrs and her artistic partner, the director Charles Ferguson, by none other than Oprah Winfrey. Marrs and Ferguson had been nominated in 2008 for their documentary No End in Sight about the American occupation of Iraq.

(Watch their Academy Award acceptance speech on YouTube)

The two began working together in 2003. Ferguson posted a job listing on Craigslist for an "assistant to a writer/investor," and three (grueling) interviews later, Marrs got the gig.

Fast forward a bit. Marrs really likes her assistant job but wants more out of life. She applies to and enters CCA's Curatorial Practice Program, but continues working for Ferguson, and they begin making No End in Sight.

Fast forward again. Six months prior to her thesis deadline, she and Ferguson realize that she has actually been producing No End in Sight since the beginning. "We were so naive about the process of filmmaking," she says, "that we didn't realize that 'producer' was the function I'd been performing all along!" The film was received to great acclaim and led naturally to the next documentary project, Inside Job.

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Posted on Monday, May 16, 2011 by Simon Hodgson

Kevin Clarke in Macarthur B Arthur (art by Ben Carder and Rachel Kaye)

"When I was at CCA," says Kevin Clarke (Painting/Drawing 2005), "I'd be walking past the woodshop and people would be standing around a table engaged in a very physical, material problem, trying to figure out how to put a piece together. But then there was always interesting conceptual stuff going on, too. The work coming out of the Furniture Program combined craft and narrative in a way I related to."

Today, Clarke has achieved a true melding of CCA's "theory and practice" mantra, maintaining a woodshop in Alameda where he makes custom furniture, painting in his studio, and running the Oakland gallery MacArthur B Arthur.

Clarke made his first foray into the Bay Area arts community in 2003, when he set up Million Fishes Arts Collective midway through his CCA years. This Mission District-based organization continues to provide creative space and other opportunities to local artists. His CCA experience was invaluable in giving him confidence and connections. "Donald Fortescue, then chair of Furniture, was a mentor throughout. I still see and talk to him. Dee Hibbert-Jones, one of my first professors, inspired me to work outside the canonical medium of painting and be more experimental. I wanted more of a community, a 'soup' environment that would allow me to draw on the expertise of others. Jordan Kantor was instrumental in making me think about making. He helped me read texts, and had great recommendations on what to read after CCA."

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Posted on Monday, April 18, 2011 by Lindsey Westbrook

Xiaoyu Weng (MA Curatorial Practice 2009)View slideshow 

From Shanghai to San Francisco: Xiaoyu Weng (MA Curatorial Practice 2009) came a long way from home to attend CCA, but her career path since graduation has ensured that home is never far from her mind. In fact, she has made a specialty of devising ways in which Asian culture and Western culture can be represented and intertwined.

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Posted on Monday, March 28, 2011 by Sarah Owens

(film still) Douglas Davis, "The Last Nine Minutes," 1977. Courtesy of the artist and Electronic Arts Intermix

God Only Knows Who the Audience Is: Performance, Video, and Television Through the Lens of La Mamelle / ART COM is an exhibition produced by the graduating class of the Graduate Program in Curatorial Practice at California College of the Arts with the support of the Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts. The exhibition will run April 21 through July 2, 2011, in the Wattis Institute galleries on the San Francisco campus of California College of the Arts. The exhibition is free and open to the public. There will be a reception event on Thursday, April 21, 2011, from 6-8 p.m.

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Posted on Monday, February 28, 2011 by Chris Bliss

Charles Ferguson and Audrey Marrs on stage at the Academy Awards

Audrey Marrs (Curatorial Practice 2008) won an Oscar last night for best documentary feature for Inside Job, which she coproduced with director Charles Ferguson. Only her second feature film, it exposes the truth behind the global financial crisis of 2008 and includes interviews with major financial insiders, politicians, and journalists.

The film was screened at the Cannes Film Festival in May 2010 and was picked up by Sony Pictures Classics. The film has won many other top awards, including Best Documentary by the New York Film Critics and Outstanding Directional Achievement in Documentary by the Directors Guild.

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Posted on Thursday, January 27, 2011 by Jim Norrena

Whoa! This is last year's event. You probably want the 2012 event, right? Let me take you there now »

CCA at CAA

Please join California College of the Arts at the College Art Association’s 99th annual conference in New York February 9–12. CCA Faculty and alumni will be participating in various panel discussions throughout the conference (see events below).

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Posted on Friday, January 7, 2011 by Brenda Tucker

Jens Hoffmann (photo by Bob Adler)

CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts Director Jens Hoffmann and the independent Brazilian curator Adriano Pedrosa have been named cocurators of the 12th International Istanbul Biennial to be held September 17–November 13, 2011. Hoffmann and Pedrosa are expected to announce a conceptual framework for the biennial in fall 2010.

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Posted on Thursday, January 6, 2011 by Samantha Braman

Jessica Silverman (photo by Daniel Trese)View slideshow 

"Art dealer" may be the best way to describe her day-to-day work, but Jessica Silverman (MA Curatorial Practice 2007) wears many hats as the founder and director of Silverman Gallery in San Francisco. While her exhibition programs have garnered increasing visibility and national press and her business has grown and thrived, Silverman has needed to be not only "dealer" but also curator, director, writer, installer . . . and sometimes delivery person!

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Posted on Friday, November 5, 2010 by Sarah Owens

Several members from CCA’s community are engaging themselves in OPENwater, a two-day event scheduled for November 13–14 that celebrates the collaboration between SFMOMA and the artists, chefs, and educators who comprise OPENrestaurant—a self-described “collective of restaurant professionals who sought to move their environment to an art space as a way to experiment with the language of their daily activities.”

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