a study in contrasts

OK. This weekend’s gigs.
It’s a little odd being in two back-to-back shows that are so wildly different from one another in scope, but I’m not complaining.
Still: one’s situated by a lovely lake in the Napa Valley, and one’s situated in a suitcase in frickin’ CHECHNYA.


The Emergency Biennale project is one that I posted about months ago when Evelyne Jouanno lectured about it at Berkeley. I never expected, but was totally honored, to be recently invited to participate. The project bears some explanation, so please read the text below, or better yet, go to the website to get the full picture. (The MFA show at the Di Rosa Preserve is also genuinely awesome to be part of, but since it’s much more of a straightforward “emerging artists” show, there’s less to explain.)

January 25-Feb 9:
Emergency Biennale in Chechnya
Playspace Gallery, California College of the Arts
1111 Eighth Street, San Francisco, CA 94103
Opening Reception: 6-9 pm Jan 25
On the occasion of the 2008 World Social Forum (WSF), The Global Commons Foundation announces two public events in San Francisco: Emergency Biennale at CCA January 25, and World Social Forum at New College of California January 26.

The Emergency Biennale in Chechnya was conceived and organized in 2005 by independent Paris and San Francisco-based curator Evelyne Jouanno as an echo to the 1st Moscow Biennial and as a reaction to the destruction of a people and culture.

Drawing attention to the plight of Chechnya and more broadly to human and social emergencies in the context of “ambivalent globalization” while also questioning the phenomenon and proliferation of international Biennials, the Emergency Biennale in Chechnya opened on February 23rd, 2005 in different clandestine locations in the city of Grozny, and simultaneously in Paris, at the Palais de Tokyo.

After Paris, the touring part of the exhibit moved on to Brussels, Bolzano, Milan, Riga, Tallinn, Vancouver, Puebla, Istanbul, and now to San Francisco. In each location new artists are invited, conferences organized, and additional suitcases readied to be sent to Chechnya, where the artworks will join their twins and the collection will become the foundation for a museum.

This will be the first presentation of the exhibit in the United States. Artists invited on the occasion of the 10th stop in San Francisco: Lindsay Benedict, Dalida Maria Benfield, Rose Khor, Tony Labat, Julio Morales, Allan de Souza, Sergio de la Torre, Trinh T. Minh-ha, Jenifer Wofford.

And now!
On a totally different note!

January 26-March 15:
MFA Selections: A Salute to Bay Area Emerging Artists
DiRosa Preserve, Napa
5200 Carneros Highway 121, Napa, CA 94559
Opening Reception: 6-8 pm Jan 26
The MFA exhibition showcases the work of eight artists who recently completed their MFA degrees at Bay Area art schools and universities. Artists include Chris Bell and Kamau Patton from Stanford University; Ali Dadgar and Jenifer Wofford from UC Berkeley; Joshua Eggleton and Dan Lydersen from the San Francisco Art Institute; and Renee Gertler and Elizabeth Mooney from the California College of the Arts. Artists were selected by jury process.

I dunno. I’m happy to be participating in both of these, but I just can’t seem to wrap my head around resolving the gi-normous physical and conceptual distance between the raisons-d’etres for each of these exhibitions, given their proximity on my calendar, anyway. Anyhow. If anyone has any good ideas on how to marry the two, I’m all ears…

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