Archive for June, 2007

Some AABNAB pics from the Dirty Work opening

Thursday, June 28th, 2007





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.

Galleon Trade: it’s 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!  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

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.

Ali Dadgar

Saturday, June 2nd, 2007

For viewers who go to see Fermata, there are brochures (more like mini-books) that offer a sample image and brief statement about the work from each artist in the exhibition. I thought folks who can’t make it to the show/didn’t get a brochure might appreciate access to the info here. The show is only up until June 10: swing by, if you can.

Ali Dadgar just responded to my original request to exploit him on the internet.
Below, please enjoy Ali’s text and an image from his installation in Fermata:

My recent work considers the aesthetics of the printed page: texts, charts, columns, and grids–the structures that make newspapers, photographs, dictionaries, and maps comprehensible. Intervening within these displays and arrangements of information, I focus on the surfaceness of the page, editing as I pull the page apart, creating new texts as I resurface the walls of my studio. If print culture represents the accumulated knowledge of a civilized society, its alteration conjures new meanings, linking literacy and illiteracy, knowledge and ignorance, artistic freedom and censorship.

I attempt to constantly remind the viewer and myself of how meaning shifts and changes in translation and how the layout, design and composition of the page structure the content of information. I am curious about the socio-political implications of how information and meaning are presented and I use formal choices within my art practice to question and re-examine the content of the printed page.

My digital prints integrate my work as a visual artist with my equally long-standing involvement in the performing arts in a very new way. These digital prints are generated from layers of staged photographic self-portraits as well as found photographs, cloths, rugs and postcards that are either integrated, re-composed and layered to create particular scenes. The prints are manipulated either through various digital techniques or with manual treatments like painting or drawing.

These images attempt to create an iconic figure in a place filled with tradition and history. The post cold war nuclear Iran is the backdrop. This performative character is placed in an uncanny relationship with different spaces such as the cultural facades or religious interiors of Iran, a hyper-real estranged homeland from long ago visited in dream states. The main character is the otherness that moves through these hybrid places.

-Ali Dadgar