San Francisco, CA—Thursday, March 17, 2022—California College of the Arts’ Graduate Program in Curatorial Practice and CCA Wattis Institute is pleased to announce Resonance of Place, a multi-site exhibition reflecting on the body’s precarious relationship to its surroundings, curated by the Graduate Program in Curatorial Practice Class of 2022: Selam Bekele, Lauren Sorresso, and Yu Jin Sung. The show features iterative works by three artists—Zarouhie Abdalian, Miguel Arzabe, and Natani Notah—who move across installation, performance, and video. The exhibition is presented outside in Oakland, California, indoors at the CCA Wattis Institute in San Francisco, and in a catalog available digitally and in print.
The works included in Resonance of Place represent lesser-known aspects of the artists’ practices and bring attention to the dynamics of place that are often unseen.
In Zarouhie Abdalian’s outdoor sound installation, titled Chanson du ricochet (2014–22), a voice reads from a list of “tools of construction” that reference labor histories of the built environment. The recording emanates from a building in the center of CCA’s Oakland campus during its last semester of active use as an art college. And on the walls of the gallery at the Wattis Institute, an accompanying handwritten text work called Chanson (2018–22) transcribes the spoken words. Also on view at the Wattis is Miguel Arzabe’s video series Trajectories (2015–21), in which iridescent bubbles float through coastal and mountainous landscapes, with the artist’s camera movement tracking the fluid subjects. Evoking a poetic understanding of space, this five-part video series suggests the vulnerable connections between people and the environment. Photo and video documentation from Natani Notah’s ongoing walking performance series #TsiiyéełPowered (2017–present) is coupled with a sculptural installation. Three white tsiiyéeł, traditional Navajo hairpieces that have been elongated by the artist so they drag on the ground as Notah performs, are embedded with debris collected as the artist traversed landscapes including Pier 41 on Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco and the shoreline of Pescadero State Beach in San Mateo. Brought together, these artworks consider presence, recalling the ways that place can echo throughout history.
There will be a two-part opening for the show with artist remarks and curator tours on April 27 in Oakland and on April 28 in San Francisco.
Abdalian, Arzabe, and Notah have all lived, studied, and worked in the Bay Area. Abdalian is a CCA alumnus who made the first installation of Chanson du ricochet while living in the Temescal neighborhood of Oakland, in collaboration with a former neighbor. This fourth installation of the work, which is being presented for the first time on the West Coast, will be its final showing. Arzabe, who lives near the Oakland campus and has a studio in San Francisco’s Dogpatch neighborhood, filmed Trajectories in remote areas of Northern California. This will be the first serial presentation of Arzabe’s five works. Notah, also a former East Bay resident, has performed #TsiiyéełPowered in San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf and Russian Hill neighborhoods as well as beach locations on the Peninsula and this presentation will include new documentation from her series.
Resonance of Place will be on view from April 28 to May 14, 2022, at the CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts and on the CCA Oakland campus, with Abdalian’s work Chanson du ricochet on view starting March 10. An exhibition catalog with original essays by members of the curatorial cohort as well as contributions from the artists and photo documentation of the show will be available for purchase from the Wattis Institute. Visitors will be required to provide proof of vaccination upon entry to either site. More information for visitors about COVID-safety protocols is available on the Wattis Institute website, including information about the exhibition and publication.
Calendar editors, please note
Resonance of Place
An exhibition by CCA’s graduate program in Curatorial Practice Class of 2022, presented in partnership with CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts
Information at wattis.org/resonance-of-place
April 28–May 14, 2022
Hours: Wed-Sat, 12-6 pm
Opening Reception: April 28, 2022, 4–7 pm
Outdoor sound installation on CCA Oakland campus:
March 10–May 14, 2022
Hours: Every day, 12-6 pm
Opening Reception: April 27, 2022, 5:30–7:30pm as part of the Oakland Campus Legacy Committee’s “Last Wednesday Night” event
About the Artists
Zarouhie Abdalian (b.1982, New Orleans. Lives and works in New Orleans, LA) Solo exhibitions include Contemporary Arts Center, New Orleans, LA; LAXART, Los Angeles, CA; The Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland, OH; and the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, Berkeley, CA. Abdalian has exhibited her work in numerous international contexts including the 5th Ural Industrial Biennial, Ekaterinburg, Russia; Secession, Vienna, Austria; Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, San Francisco; 2017 Whitney Biennial, New York; MOSTYN, Wales; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco; Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, North Adams; Prospect.3 Biennial, New Orleans; the 8th Berlin Biennale; 9th Shanghai Biennale; CAFAM Biennale, Beijing; and the 12th Istanbul Biennial.
Miguel Arzabe (b. 1975, St. Louis, MO. Lives and works in Oakland, CA) holds a BS from Carnegie Mellon University, an MS from Arizona State University, and an MFA from UC Berkeley. His work has been presented in museums and galleries, including MAC Lyon, France; MARS Milan, Italy; RM Projects Auckland, New Zealand; FIFI Projects Mexico City, Mexico; Marylhurst University, Oregon; Berkeley Art Museum, Berkeley, California; Albuquerque Museum of Art, New Mexico; the de Young Museum, San Francisco, CA; and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. He has held many residencies, including Facebook AIR, Headlands Center for the Arts, Montalvo Arts Center, and Santa Fe Art Institute. He has been featured in such festivals as Hors Pistes at Centre Pompidou, Paris, France; Festival du Nouveau Cinéma Montréal, Canada; and the Geumgang Nature Art Biennale in Gongju, South Korea. Arzabe is a charter studio member at the artist studios Minnesota Street Project in San Francisco.
Natani Notah (b. 1992, San Bernardino, CA. Lives and works in Tulsa, OK) is an interdisciplinary artist and a proud member of the Navajo Nation. Her current artistic practice explores contemporary Native American identity through the lens of Diné womanhood. Notah has exhibited her work at numerous institutions, including apexart, New York City; NXTHVN, New Haven, CT; Tucson Desert Art Museum, Tucson, AZ; Gas Gallery, Los Angeles; Mana Contemporary, Chicago; and SOMArts Cultural Center, San Francisco. She has received awards from Art Matters, International Sculpture Center, and the San Francisco Foundation. Her work has been featured in Art in America, Hyperallergic, Forbes, and Sculpture Magazine, and she has completed residencies at the Vermont Studio Center, Grounds for Sculpture, Headlands Center for the Arts, This Will Take Time, Oakland, and Kala Art Institute. Notah holds a BFA with a minor in Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies from Cornell University and an MFA from Stanford University. She is currently a 2021-2023 Tulsa Artist Fellow.
About CCA’s Graduate Program in Curatorial Practice
In CCA’s two-year MA in Curatorial Practice, students work closely with faculty mentors—and collaborate with fellow students—to develop the intellectual, analytical, and practical skills needed to pursue a range of professional paths in curating contemporary art. The program positions the curator as a researcher, advocate, and ally who understands context as a means of articulating connections among artists, artworks, ideas, information, and audiences. Curatorial Studies students acquire the knowledge and tools provided by museum studies, exhibition studies, or arts administration programs, but they are also encouraged to work creatively, think critically, and imagine a practice beyond the current boundaries of the art world. We ask students to challenge the assumptions and inequities on which museums and other arts institutions have been built and to envision how cultural producers might work together to foster new models for the future.
About CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts
Founded in 1998 at California College of the Arts in San Francisco and located a few blocks from its campus, CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts is a nonprofit exhibition venue and research institute dedicated to contemporary art and ideas. As an exhibition space, it commissions and shows new work by emerging and established artists from around the world. Recent solo exhibitions include Josh Faught: Look Across the Water Into the Darkness, Look for the Fog; Maia Cruz Palileo: Long Kwento; Jeffrey Gibson: Nothing Is Eternal; Lydia Ourahmane: صرخة شمسية Solar Cry; Cinthia Marcelle: A morta; Vincent Fecteau; Abbas Akhavan: cast for a folly; Akosua Adoma Owusu: Welcome to the Jungle (which traveled to the Contemporary Arts Center of New Orleans); Diamond Stingily: Doing the Best I Can; Rosha Yaghmai: Miraclegrow; and Adam Linder: Full Service (which traveled to Mudam Luxembourg).
As a research institute, the Wattis dedicates an entire year to reflect on the work of a single artist, which informs a regular series of public programs and publications involving the field’s most prominent artists and thinkers. The 2021–2022 season is dedicated to the artist Lorraine O’Grady; past seasons featured Joan Jonas, Andrea Fraser, David Hammons, Seth Price, Dodie Bellamy, Trinh T. Minh-ha, and Cecilia Vicuña.
The Wattis also hosts an annual Capp Street Artist-in-Residence, one of the earliest and longest-running artist-in-residence programs in the country, founded in 1983 by Ann Hatch as Capp Street Project, and incorporated into the Wattis Institute in 1998. Each year, an artist comes to live and work in San Francisco for a semester, teaches a graduate seminar at CCA, and develops a new body of work or research. Recent participants include Mirra Helen (2021-2022), Raven Chacon (2020–2021), Hồng-An Trương (2019–2020), Abbas Akhavan (2018–2019), contemptorary (2017–2018), Melanie Gilligan (2016–2017), Carissa Rodriguez (2015–2016), and Nairy Baghramian (2014–2015). For more information, visit wattis.org.
About California College of the Arts
Founded in 1907, California College of the Arts (CCA) educates students to shape culture and society through the practice and critical study of art, architecture, design, and writing. Benefitting from its San Francisco Bay Area location, the college prepares students for lifelong creative work by cultivating innovation, community engagement, and social and environmental responsibility.
CCA offers a rich curriculum of 23 undergraduate and 11 graduate programs in art, design, architecture, and writing taught by a faculty of expert practitioners. Attracting promising students from across the nation and around the world, CCA is among the 25 most diverse colleges in the U.S. Last year, U.S. News & World Report ranked CCA as one of the top 10 graduate schools for fine arts in the country.
Graduates are highly sought after by companies such as Pixar/Disney, Apple, Intel, Facebook, Gensler, Google, IDEO, Autodesk, Mattel, and Nike, and many have launched their own successful businesses. Alumni and faculty are often recognized with the highest honors in their fields, including Academy Awards, AIGA Medals, Fulbright Scholarships, Guggenheim Fellowships, MacArthur Fellowships, National Medal of Arts, and the Rome Prize, among others.
CCA is creating a new, expanded college campus at its current site in San Francisco, spearheaded by the architectural firm Studio Gang. The new campus design will be a model of sustainable construction and practice; will unite the college’s programs in art, crafts, design, architecture, and writing in one location to create new adjacencies and interactions; and will provide more student housing than ever before.