Archive for June, 2007

Some AABNAB pics from the Dirty Work opening

Thursday, June 28th, 2007




rub a dub dub

Wednesday, June 27th, 2007

My living room has a mountain of amazing art in it, and four massive red plastic ice-drink tubs.
Not to brag.
They’re pretty nice tubs. You could bathe in them.
Next time you see them, they’ll be filled with beer.

So, yes, just a few more days until Ship Launch! does its launch-y thing, and my house is the repository for many of the goods. Conceptually, I guess that makes West Oakland a port of call on our journey.

I think Ship Launch! is gonna be big! Christine Wong Yap had the presence of mind to send out press releases for our event, and so we’ve been getting interviews/mentions/calendar hits from KPFA/Apex Express, the SF Bay Guardian, the Chronicle’s 96 Hours section, Laughing Squid, Fecal Face…there’s a couple more. I forget. In any case, it’s shaping up to be a really great party.

My darling friend since high school, Joe Franko, not only agreed to DJ, but his friend Joe Quixx wanted in on the fun, too. These two are NO JOKE. I can’t wait. (Damn, I want people to dance. I don’t care if the sun’s not down yet.)


The nice thing about the Tribune Press Building is also that we’ve been given use of 3 adjoining storefronts, so that the serious music-heads will have a room to booty-shake in, the food/drink will live safely in another, and the art gallery will be in another. The doors will be posted to allow folks to flow back and forth between spaces easily so that no one feels segregated, but I do hope that the slight separations between storefronts will encourage folks to enjoy each space differently. Sometimes in auction events, folks aren’t quite sure whether they can cut loose or not. Hopefully our set-up takes care of that.

The Online Preview Gallery for the auction is now complete. Please check it out! I was gonna update the post below with the remaining artists, but it’s easier to just send you over to the source on Galleon Trade‘s site.

So a couple of folks have actually already begun bidding on work! This is very exciting! I don’t wanna get too wound up just yet, but it’s thrilling for me. It took so frickin’ long to put the online thing together, I’m really hoping that its two primary purposes (1, to encourage bidders, 2, to amp up artists’ web presence) will turn out well on both fronts.

Dinner-time now. It’s hot. I want sushi.


Sunday, June 24th, 2007

As if I didn’t have enough to do this week, Mail Order Brides/MOB are installing our work in a show at Kearny Street Workshop!

Given how busy I’ve been, there’s something nice about coming to a point in one’s career where you don’t have to freak out and make something new from scratch in a panic every time. I’m starting to feel like an elder stateswoman (mind you, in this case, I’m the youngest of three elder stateswomen…). Case in point: the return of an incarnation of M.O.B.’s Always A Bridemaid Never A Bride, in a group exhibition at Kearny Street Workshop entitled Dirty Work.


The context is definitely different from Yerba Buena’s Bay Area Now 4 (the last place we installed it). Dirty Work invites viewers to consider the impact of the domestic worker industry on communities and the larger economy, and to consider the experience of doing “dirty work.” Naturally, our considerable Professional BridesMaid expertise as pre-domestic workers made us a shoo-in for this show. It’s about time we had another chance to hawk our bridesmaid services, especially in the next-best thing to a bridal faire…


Dirty Work: Artists Eye Domestic Labor

June 26-August 31
Opening Reception: June 26, 6.30 -9.30pm
Gallery hours: Tues & Th, 2 – 6pm, Sat 12 – 4pm, and by appointment.
Location: KSW’s space180
180 capp street, @ 17th street
San Francisco 94110

galleons and galleons…

Wednesday, June 20th, 2007

not “billions and billions”…

I think that that’s what Carl Sagan meant to say, anyway.

Another big day of artsy administrative shenanigans: more posts to the Galleon Trade online gallery, some work on a couple of grants, and a meeting at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts regarding a small project I’ll be doing there early next year (no, not Muppet related).

The Galleon Trade fund-raiser is doing what every big project does to me: it’s starting to stress me out massively, but it always turns out successfully in the long run. Part of being a worrywart is that you spend a lot of time anticipating disaster, and are then pleasantly surprised when it turns out fine. In the case of this project, I’m also surrounded by a ton of folks who are both generous and enormously capable, which makes this all seem so much more manageable. I’m super grateful to all of the folks who have donated time and art and talent thus far: our most recent sign-on is the ever-amazing Joe Franko, who has graciously agreed to DJ our event. (Booty-shakers, prepare thineselves for his wrath. Wear good shoes.)

Right now, my big concern is that with an art auction that’s turning out to be waay more amazing and ambitious that I expected is having enough collectors come to the event. Either way, we’re gonna have one hell of a party, and either way, folks who attend will get to enjoy looking at the art that night. Bidding on and buying art is, of course, what will help pay our galleon-ic bills in a big way. See, it’s one thing to host an art auction when the venue is an established art space with built-in art supporters: it’s a little trickier when the venue (and the organization) is a little nebulous or new, like we are. We’re getting the word out, but there’s no telling yet whether this is paying off. Well, we still have some time…do me a favor, and spread the word, and come to the event, OK?

Christine Wong Yap is going to be the mouthpiece for Galleon Trade on KPFA this Thursday, which is an awesome opportunity to get us on the radar of a ton of folks. (I will be in LA on other GT-related business, so I don’t get to run my mouth off on air. Anyway, Christine is so smart, and effortlessly graceful, and infinitely less likely to inadvertently swear on live radio. You go, gal…leon.) Tune in to Apex Express on 94.1 KPFA this Thursday night, from 7 to 8 pm!

OK. The sleep-thing is looming. I’m on my third yawn of this post (dang: am I really that boring, even to me?), so I’m going to go trundle off to bed now.

Memo to self: remember to stop writing posts after midnight.

back on board the good ship

Monday, June 18th, 2007

OK, back to our regularly scheduled broadcast. My muppet reverie has had to take a backseat once more to the mighty Galleon….

Can I tell you, I’m all blogged out right now? It’s 2:30 am, and I have spent the better part of last week and this weekend and this evening pulling together the online preview gallery for the June 30 Galleon Trade: Ship Launch! party.

It’s looking pretty great, I think, but DANG, is it a pain: lots of files to sort out, lots of artists to chase down for info. I’m not one to judge, since I’m usually the artist turning in her forms at the last minute, but still: it’s tough! Sooo… I’m learning how to be an administrator/ sheep wrangler the hard way. Emails, organizing files, yada yada yada. And WordPress has some weird glitchy HTML thing that made it much harder than it should have been to format the galleries, and since I, uh, know nada about HTML, tonight was a painfully slow dip into learning on the fly…

Anyway, snore, snore. Enough whining. Here’s the good news. The work that’s been donated thus far for Ship Launch is So. Frickin. Good. I’m seriously so honored that folks have been so generous with the art that they’ve donated: some of the projects are so wonderful that I’m cranky I can’t afford to participate in the auction myself. The works are smart, funny, mysterious, technically gorgeous. And I’m not just saying that. It’s really pretty amazing.

I’m still gonna be updating the auction items all week, but you can preview the first 3 galleries (artists broken into groups of 10) here:

Auction Gallery 1-10:
1. Mike Arcega
2. Amy Balkin
3. Lindsay Benedict
4. Ali Dadgar
5. Renee Delores
6. Reanne Estrada
7. Michael Hall
8.Kara Hearn
9. Jesse Houlding
10. Misako Inaoka

Auction Gallery 11-20:
11. Bill Jenkins
12. Susanna Kwan
13. Kenneth Lo
14. Joe McKay
15. Mail Order Brides/M.O.B.
16. Julio Cesar Morales
17. Indira Morre
18. Domingo Nuño
19. Gina Osterloh *2 works
20. Johanna Poethig

Auction Gallery 21-30:
21. Carlo Ricafort
22. Michael Salamida
23. Megan Wilson *3 works
24. Jenifer Wofford *2 works
25. Christine Wong Yap *2 works
26. Favianna Rodriguez *2 works 

There are a whole raft of other folks who have confirmed that they’re donating, so I’m just waiting on their info. There will be about 40 works altogether very shortly. Stay tuned…as for me, it’s time to de-tune. I gots to get some sleep. Whew.


Saturday, June 16th, 2007

OK, so this post is mildly random, given how Galleon-centric my brain is at present, but it’s important. And I’m mildly random, anyway.

So. It is summer, and traditionally this is when art venues slow down a little bit in terms of their regular programming, and sometimes ramp it up with tourist/family-friendly fare.

Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, which pretty much tramples SFMoMA when it comes to progressive, diverse, community-oriented programming (not to mention more generous ticket discounts and membership rates to encourage a wider range of folks to come) is offering something up this summer which delights me to no end. William Pope. l? Wonderful and provocative, but no. R. Crumb? Close, but not quite. The Collective Foundation? Even closer, but no.

It’s shameless.
It’s crowd-pleasing.
It’s Muppets.

June 24, 4 pm is The Great Muppet Caper. Now, it’s been some years since I’ve seen this, but if memory serves me, it contains not one, but two of the most iconic moments in cinema history: the definitive musical water-ballet number (featuring the elegant Charles Grodin serenading a certain porcine beauty), and the definitive lady-muppet- prison-break-on-a-motorcycle scene.

I’ve been digging for those specific screen-caps and video clips, to no avail, so these will have to suffice:



These pics come courtesy of a brilliant site I uncovered, featuring the 50 Greatest Muppet Moments of All Time. The #1 Moment comes, from, naturally, The Great Muppet Caper.

There is also a great fight clip here:
…but for the full effect, you’ll just have to go to YBCA, and see the glory for yourself.

Muppets, Music and Magic
June 21-24, 28, 30 and July 1
YBCA Screening Room
Yerba Buena Center for the Arts
701 Mission at 3rd
San Francisco

Galleon Trade: it’s SO on!

Thursday, June 14th, 2007

So one of the other things that was preventing me from posting last week was the fact that I was pulling all manner of things together for Galleon Trade. Expect a number of posts on the matter, since it’s only a bit over a month until the exhibitions in Manila occur. The exhibitions open July 24, 26 and 28! For those of you not sick to death of me littering the internet with my ramblings, Galleon Trade not only has a fantastic, fully fleshed-out website now, it also has its own news/propaganda blog, too! More personal (within reason, ahem) content will remain here at Wofflings, however.


As usual, mad props go out to Max LaRiviere-Hedrick for his phenomenal web skills and patience with various Woffords.

So: what can I tell you? I bought my plane ticket for Manila at long last this week, which makes things about as official as it gets. I get there on July 15th: over 2/3rds of the artists are also coming around the same time. It’s absolutely unbelievable that it’s finally happening, and that so many folks are committed to being there, too. At this point, officially confirmed to go are Reanne Estrada, Eliza Barrios, Johanna Poethig, Gina Osterloh, Mike Arcega, Lucy Burns, Eric Reyes, but a few others simply have to purchase their tickets to officially put them on the list. It’s seriously a dream come true. And we also added a final artist to the Galleon Trade roster, Rick Godinez, making the number of artists a dirty dozen!

There’s a lot of stuff that will come together in the next few weeks, not least of which is Galleon Trade: Ship Launch!, a fund-raising launch party on Saturday, June 30. Thanks to Frankus the miracle worker, the party’s going to be in the Tribune Press Building storefronts in downtown Oakland, right by 12th St BART, which makes it really easy to get to. It’s gonna be super-fun!


Galleon Trade was awarded two nice little grants, but given last-minute travel expenses with so many folks committed to going, we are still under budget. In order to protect all of the folks in Galleon Trade who are ponying up their own cash to be part of the Manila experience, and to set standards high for when we host phase two in 2008, it just seemed right to put a fun event together to kick this thing off in style, while also minimizing the financial burdens we’re under.

Given a post I wrote in the past about the tricky nature of art auctions as fund-raisers, I was conflicted about pushing forth with a silent art auction for our own event. I’ve put some parameters in place, however: a modest auction of small works on paper or limited edition multiples, so that entry-level collectors have an authentic way in, serious collectors still have something good to chew on, and artists are protected from having their magnum opi (opuses?) devalued through under-bidding. I’m also putting together an online gallery on the news blog, so that folks can preview or proxy bid on work, making us less dependent on party attendees. And… since I’ve regularly donated work to many, many auctions myself, I’ve had to acknowledge that artists do enjoy supporting their friends and the organizations that they believe in by donating work.

Anyway, that’s enough for now. There are a slew of updates for Ship Launch! soon to follow, including recreation and refreshment details, as well as the preview online gallery of all artists participating in the event. Please tell your friends and family about it: we’d love to see you all there on June 30!

Galleon Trade: Ship Launch!
Saturday, June 30
6:00-10:00 pm (auction ends at 9:00 pm)
Tribune Press Building
410 12th Street (between Broadway and Franklin)
Downtown Oakland

switching gears

Wednesday, June 13th, 2007

Mein Gott. Has it been a whole week since I last posted? Shiver me timbers. There’s a lot to catch up on, but I think I’ll have to break it down into several bite-size chunks, lest I scare folks off with a rambling epic of non-epic substance.

First things first–a little closure, please: Sunday was the last day for Fermata. Monday, we all went in there and took our work down. With the exception of Motel Cucaracha (which was a pain in the ass), de-installing work is usually fairly quick and painless, relative to the drama and anxiety leading up to any major show. Monday at the Berkeley Art Museum was no different: very quiet, very anti-climactic. My time at BAM intersected with Bill’s and Joe’s for a few minutes, which was nice. I’d brought a bunch of bedsheets with me to wrap my work up with: next thing you know, Bill, Joe and I collaborated on a 30-second performance piece in front of Ali’s massive wall (Joe directed, Bill snapped, I posed).



Fitted sheets: always fun. Contextually, it’s also funnier if you know Ali, and the personas he’s created in his works. Anyway, much more interesting than discussing what it’s like removing 40 paintings from a wall and putting them into boxes. In any case, since it only took a short amount of time to de-install and re-photograph my piece, I took the opportunity to take a few more photos inside BAM, since I’ll prolly never be allowed to do so again.


Something I reflected on a lot while this show was up was the enormous sense of connectedness I felt, finally being in a show in this particular museum. When we first moved back to the US I was in high school, and I found myself desperate to escape the horrors of the suburbs. One of the places I used to escape regularly to was Berkeley, and specifically to BAM (back then, it was still UAM: University Art Museum). Its nutty architecture worked its magic on me, and I was hooked.


I can think of a number of milestone shows that really moved me when I was still pretty young: Kiki Smith’s first MATRIX show(1991), Jay DeFeo (1990), Christian Boltanski (1989)…These shows, as well as works by many artists in the permanent collection (Betye Saar, Jonathan Borofsky, Jean Tinguely, Theresa Hak Kyung Cha), were completely formative and inspiring for me as a teenager, and I’ve never forgotten them.

Supposedly BAM will be moving to a new building in downtown Berkeley in the future: it sounds like it could be a while. No problem with me: I’m so attached to this old building, I’m happy to get to keep visiting it for quite a while longer.

By the way, Point of Departure, the piece I exhibited, is still on its way to becoming a full-fledged web project: I’ll keep you posted on when it’s up and running in its complete state.

Extreme Insecurity Forces!

Wednesday, June 6th, 2007

Lots of fun to be had in the East Bay this weekend: it’s the second half of the annual East Bay Open Studios which numerous friends of mine are participating in. Check a few studios out this Saturday and Sunday, if you can! The fun culminates Sunday night with a performance that’s not actually related to Open Studios, but which makes a fine cap for the weekend’s creative activities over here. Wigband+The Hogs are doing their wonderful wiggish thing at 21 Grand on Sunday evening: maybe I’ll see some of you there?

EIF =increased militarization, political suspension, environmental meltdown,
corporate colonization and the desire to achieve fetal position.


SUNDAY, JUNE 10, 2007
21 Grand
416 25th Street @ Broadway


Wigband: Johanna Poethig and Barbara Golden
The Hogs: Chris Brown, Tim Perkis and MaryClare Brystwa
Guillermo Galindo and Paula Cekola
Praba Pilar and Myles Boisen

Video by:
VJ Love
Johanna Poethig

Poster Gals: Nora Chipaumire &

Deadpan Exchange

Sunday, June 3rd, 2007

Dang, this is definitely the summer of international exchange. I think it’s happening constantly, actually, but it just feels a little closer to home than usual right now.

I want to give a shout-out to Jonn Herschend, who flew off to Denmark yesterday for a little project he co-organized called “Deadpan Exchange.”



Deadpan Exchange is a three part, three country exhibition series taking place in the summer and fall of 2007. The exhibitions are an exploration of international communication through the Deadpan aesthetic. Part I will take place in Copenhagen, Denmark at the Koh-i-noor collective. Part II will be a joint performance and screening at super bien! In Berlin, Germany. Part III will take place in San Francisco in the fall of 2007 or the spring of 2008.

From Jonn’s new Deadpan blog:

How could this happen?
May 25th, 2007

There was a big group Dim Sum brunch in San Francisco about two years ago where I first met Heidi Hove Pedersen. Then, almost a year later, there was a discussion about a show in Copenhagen at Koh-i-noor. There were a handful of artists here in the bay area whose work seemed very deadpan in one form or another (both comic and tragic). And we were interested in working together in order to further explore this aesthetic. So it just made sense to pitch this to Heidi and Koh-i-noor. Out of this came Deadpan Exchange 1. And then there was an invite to do some sort of something at Koh-i-noor’s Berlin “office.” We tossed around some ideas of doing a sort of screening there, and then this turned into an e-mail discussion with David Keating, who is one of the founders of super bien! in Berlin (and whom I met in 05 when the two of us were in residency in Norway at LKV). Out of this there evolved a sort of Deadpan Festival (complete with sausages and beer) and a flood of amazing artists from Denmark (thanks to Heidi), the US and Germany (and one from Spain and another from Canada). And then there’s this amazing website, which was made on the fly by Max La Riviere-Hedrick. And finally there is Deadpan III, which will be taking place in San Francisco in the fall or spring of 07 or 08 with the artists from the Koh-i-noor collective who will be creating works that are reactions to the SF artist’s work in Copenhagen .

So that’s the background. I’m about to get on the plane on Friday to go over and help install Deadpan 1 and work on a performance piece for the opening. I’ll be checking in here and there and providing what photos I can, but (if this is supposed to work correctly), there will be a few others who will be contributing to this blog, including Heidi.

It’s also important to note there will be another blog, which will serve as an art piece for the Berlin show. This blog is by Morten Kaer, and you can find it at .

-Jonn Herschend

So, first of all, bravo, Deadpan Exchange! And second of all, if you or someone you love is doing some sort of international arts exchange, please let me know about it.

I’ve gotten all fired up about international arts projects, given the stuff I’ve been doing with Manila. I just want to know more about the various grass-roots ways that artists are putting together these shows, and what inspires them to do this. Please send me comments via wofflings or an email (jkwofford at hotmaildotcom), so I can help promote it.