Featuring newly commissioned work by
Christine Wong Yap
SoEx’s Youth Advisory Board
Southern Exposure is proud to present Bellwether, the inaugural exhibition in our new home on 20th Street in San Francisco’s Mission District. The artists in Bellwether engage in multi-layered speculative projections on our ever shifting and uncertain future. Whether by indulging in their hopeful fantasies or examining their trepidation, the artists provide unique and perhaps unconventional tools and methodologies for envisioning and navigating the unknown. Through anticipation and fear, excitement and anxiety, prediction and instruction, the projects in this exhibition begin to give form to the haziness that lies ahead.
BELLWETHER PROJECT DESCRIPTIONS
Ant Farm, Time Capsule Triptych
Ant Farm is a collective of radical architects, artists, visionaries and cultural commentators currently including Chip Lord, Curtis Schreier and Bruce Tomb. For Southern Exposure, Ant Farm presents Time Capsule Triptych, a newly commissioned project featuring a major new video and installation work documenting the reemergence of their 1975 Media Van, an installation of over 4000 digital audio and visual files collected through the newly updated Media Van v.08 and an architectural rendering of the resting location of the Media Van v.08, time capsule. Time Capsule Triptych fits into a larger artistic fiction that attempts to document the past (Media Van 1975), present (Media Van v.08, time capsule) and future (2030) of the Media Van.
Renée Gertler, Deluge Collapse
Renee Gertler is interested in the wonders of the natural world and how we experience them whether through scientific calculation or existential awareness. In her project Deluge Collapse, Gertler presents a large-scale installation of a flood in stasis. Both forceful and life affirming this installation brings to light the current politics around water and leaves us to consider what role water will play in our future.
Liz Glynn, Banner Year
Liz Glynn’s Banner Year is a collectively created banner meant to serve as a manifesto, culled from fragments of past sentiment interwoven to create a new, provisional statement from which to move into the future. Hanging a banner is a territorial gesture and a means of claiming space. Unlike the nationalist identification of a flag, a banner is often an expression of idealism. Banner Year is intended to transform the collective experience of SoEx into a statement to propose a new future.
Jonn Herschend, Another Fine Mess (parts 1 and 2)
Jonn Herschend is interested in the bare elements of narrative structure that occur when emotional confusion and absurdity play out in the everyday. For Bellwether, Herschend presents Another Fine Mess (Part 1) in which a hired plane flies over San Francisco at intervals throughout the exhibition with a banner that reads “I’m Sorry.” It is just the sort of gesture that will inevitably have a wide spread effect. Herschend also presents Another Fine Mess (Part 2), a video piece entitled Embrace of the Irrational…Lessons from the Romantic Movement of the 18th Century, by Martin Thebes.
Whitney Lynn, Bug-Out-Location
Whitney Lynn’s project, Bug-Out-Location, is a sculptural installation that draws inspiration equally from survivalist subcultures and more left leaning do-it-yourself (DIY) movements. Taking a critical view of both, the project highlights the similarities between the two communities and emphasizes the role aesthetics play in defining perceived differences. Presented as a clandestine and defensible ‘retreat’ or ‘safe place’ within the gallery, Bug-Out-Location invites viewers to interact with the space.
Jay Nelson, The Golden Gate I
Jay Nelson creates objects and structures that facilitate inventive approaches to living. His creations are often meant to be mobile and pose questions about our relationship to the environment that we inhabit and the landscape in which we travel. For the exhibition at Southern Exposure, Nelson will be creating an electric camper pod. Encased in a fiberglass shell, the pod is a small camper home on wheels complete with a water tank, stove, cabinets, fold-down table and convertible bed. The Golden Gate I included in the show at Southern Exposure is a prototype and a proposal for what could possibly be fleet of similar vehicles. Each potential pod is a raw space that can be customized by the inhabitant into a temporary home and a space for introspection.
Nonchalance, Zetetic/Peripatetic: Investigations into the Ontology of the Elsewhere Public Works Agency and the First Steps Towards the Formulation of a General Theory of the Practice of Nonchalants
Part fringe folklore, part comment on group potential, part dérive, Nonchalance creates hyper-real alternate reality games through tightly synchronized constellation of rivalries, quixotic maps, surrogate locations, and chance meetings. For Southern Exposure, Nonchalance presents Zetetic/Peripatetic: Investigations into the Ontology of the Elsewhere Public Works Agency and the First Steps Towards the Formulation of a General Theory of the Practice of Nonchalants, a new public project focused on the failed collaboration between curator Audrey Griegh and rival group, Elsewhere Public Works (EPWA). As visitors walk through the familiar sites prescribed in this work, Nonchalance’s narrative layers time and lifts them into a parallel reality of intrigue and the desire to right a topsy-turvy past through inquiry and the ability to just drift.
Lordy Rodriguez, First Colony
Lordy Rodriquez will expand the First Colony experiment, a project that debuted at Stanford University's Thomas Welton Gallery in May of 2008. The First Colony welcomes new residents and citizens through an immigration office installed in the gallery. Once the immigration process is complete, new citizens are able to vote on issues of importance to the Colony's future. In its last iteration, citizens voted to take over the neighboring Uokalani Village. The installation at Southern Exposure will include an exhibition of artifacts and pictures from the displaced Uokalani people, as well as a didactic display of their history and the events that took place during their capture. The First Colony will also be seeking to recruit new citizens at Southern Exposure and will have immigration office, along with a voting booth and a map of the Colony's current and potential future territory.
Christine Wong Yap, mirrorsblack
Investigating the dualities of optimism and pessimism through metaphors like light and dark, along with concept and physicality, Yap constructs a freestanding sculpture of two large, partially obscured mirrors on an illuminated base. Viewers will only be able to see either a half full or half empty image at any given moment, furthering a mood of skepticism or credence.
SoEx's Youth Advisory Board, Nuestro Futuro / Our Future
Southern Exposure’s Youth Advisory Board (YAB) alongside lead teaching artist Kamau Patton, and supporting teaching artists Tara Foley, Tibora Bea Girczyc-Blum and Gloria Reyes create work which examines and re-envisions images of future identities through analysis of current and past uses of technology, media and advertising. The final project is a culmination of 19 weeks of two hour, bi-weekly meetings at Southern Exposure’s back gallery classroom. In order to inform conversations about future identities, YAB delves into their own cultural identities and asks the question: how can art, within the parameters of collaborative arts practice, documentation, digital communications, video, sound, photography, self exploration, painting and drawing, help sustain the viability and presence of ones cultural background? Essential to this is an investigation of the tools and theories relating to immigration and anthropology. YAB will present a multimedia conversation regarding young identities today alongside futuristic projections within a cultural context.
Bellwether includes a gallery exhibition, public art projects, public program series and publication and is curated by Southern Exposure’s Curatorial Committee.