Now & When

June 4 - September 4, 2010
SFAC Main Gallery and 155 Grove Street Window Installation Site

On the occasion of the San Francisco Arts Commission Gallery’s 40th anniversary, we have commissioned Bay Area cultural producers to create projects based on the concept of time capsules as a means to critically confront the value, meaning and methodologies of marking time. We are proud to present these emerging and renowned Bay Area artists: The Bureau of Urban Secrets, Joseph del Pesco, Guillermo Gómez-Peña, Packard Jennings,Lynn Hershman Leeson, Ken Lo, Gay Outlaw & Bob Schmitz, Paul Schiek and Margaret Tedesco & Matt BorrusoTaro Hattori. and

Margaret Tedesco & Matt Borruso
The Circulation Desk – Joseph del Pesco
The Circulation Desk is a two-part project about the distribution of information, histories, and images through printed matter. With the help and advice of friends, ephemera dealers, and librarians, del Pesco located the first issues of twelve art magazines produced in the Bay Area since 1960, and presents them online as a capsule-view of Bay Area art over five decades. The second part of the project includes a gallery-based distribution point for a survey of current international art magazines, many of which have never been distributed in the Bay Area.

The Mex Files – Guillermo Gómez-Peña, Sound engineering by Greg Landau
This unique time capsule invites visitors to enter a performative sound chamber and experience an “anthology for the future.” Gómez-Peña has been developing a sound archive of his writing and performance work spanning the past 25 years. The Mex Files offers ten newly recorded texts that evoke crucial moments in the artist’s life.

Where Do Birds Go Off to Die – Taro Hattori
At the SFAC Gallery window installation site at 155 Grove Street
Hattori has created an installation that envisions what human beings might hand over to a post-human world. This time capsule captures the construction of destruction, followed by the invasion of civilization by the uncontrollable power of the natural world. It is a story about what happens after human efforts to preserve our way of life on this planet has failed and eventually ceases.

Where Do Birds Go off to Die is supported by the Graue Family Foundation.

Long Shot: Labor and Ponies – Packard Jennings with Amy Balkin, Anthony Discenza, Aaron Gach, John Herschend, Lizabeth Rossof, Steve Shada, and Stephanie Syjuco
For Long Shot: Dining, Labor, and Ponies, Jennings convened a group of Bay Area conceptual artists for a meal at a local dining establishment to discuss the project. Over the course of a meal, the notion of a time capsule was scrutinized, as the team worked to envision a viable project that could be realized within the available budget. The results are on view in the gallery, along with a transcript of the dinner discussion.

Timelines: !Women Art Revolution – Lynn Hershman Lesson with Jesse Spenser, Alexandra Choweniac, Dan Olmsted and Justin Barber
The timeline for Leeson’s new feature length film !Women Art Revolution stretches back to its inception nearly 42 years ago. Her time capsule provides a glimpse into the process of creating this monumental film project and contains organizational timelines that chart how the film was realized, the timing of getting the footage and acquiring images, the projected completion and distribution schedules, the sound and video timelines, and graphic timelines from 1970-2009 that define histories. Additionally, Now & When offers local audiences a chance to view clips of !Women Art Revolution before it premieres at MOMA in New York.

Someone for Someone Forever and Ever – Ken Lo with Michelle Blade, Suzanne Husky, Misako Inaoka, Aimee Le Duc, Ernest Jolly, Patricia Maloney, Scott Oliver, Lordy Rodriguez, and Jamie Vasta
Someone for Someone Forever and Ever commemorates significant events from the love lives of selected artists, curators and staff at the SFAC Gallery. Lo seeks to erect a concrete marker to the peaks and valleys found in an otherwise ambiguous landscape of emotion and memory. Each memorial is a tribute to love’s labors lost; a souvenir to emotional geographies traversed, romances won, trials survived, or fantasies never realized. Lo assigns an impersonal and corporate idiom to each intimate achievement and proclaims it worthy of universal recognition, as well as material immortality.

Do Not Enter (Angus’ Room) – Gay Outlaw & Bob Schmitz
Outlaw and Schmitz have created a time capsule that is rendering of their nine-year-old son’s room. They use photography to catalog the contents and have constructed a sculptural mobile to interpret, at various scales and in various mediums, certain objects in his room. Their intent is to capture the essence of Angus’ room at this point in time, and preserve it as both a personal and collective portrait. The entire installation will be held in a single crate until it is exhibited again in 40 years.

If Only We’d Known How We’d Want to Remember It: 8 Time Capsules – The San Francisco Bureau of Urban Secrets – Jeannene Przyblyski with Jon Thomas, Christina Corfield and Ryan Verzaal
The San Francisco Bureau of Urban Secrets has been in the business of marking time since at least 2001. For Now & When, they publish the sites of eight instances of encapsulated history, sealed as sound and image, at eight different moments from 1776 to the present (the Bureau modestly acknowledges its well-established expertise in time travel). These “time capsules” may be accessed vicariously in the gallery, but they are really to be found elsewhere in the City, in the space between place and history.

The End of Photography – Paul Schiek
Our interest and everyday engagement with the moving image is trumping photography in almost every application, and Schiek’s time capsule investigates his prediction that we will lose the still image completely within the next decade. Schiek has a created poetic tribute or memorial marking this moment of transition utilizing a photocopier and what he terms “the most recognizable and reproduced image of all time,” Dorothea Lange’s Migrant Mother.

Proof – Margaret Tedesco & Matt Borruso
Margaret Tedesco & Matt Borruso’s project, Proof, is a collection of photographs taken from numerous dystopian science fiction film sources. While a time capsule supposed that the future is certain to exist, these films often suggest the end of the world is imminent. For time travelers the photographed objects provide proof of a shifting reality. For survivors and future generations these images may reveal a timeless fascination with the apocalypse.