Monday, November 5, 2012

Art, Salvaged Photos and Stuff Being Thrown From Windows

Here we go!
Throwing chronological order to the wind, the San Francisco recap commences!

On my trip to SF, I divided my time between a satisfying blend of reconnecting with old friends (Hi Ned! Hi Nina!), traveling solo and teaming up with my tried and true travelling companion Becky.  

Two of the constants throughout my time in SF: checking out the creative offerings of the city and food.  Let's delve into some of the art today.

The title: Defenestration.  The artist: Brian Goggin.
I visited this exhibit once by myself and then again with Becky.  The piece is an installation of objects being thrown out of a vacant building that had been destroyed by a fire.  

I am really glad I got to see the installation because it appears as if it will soon be removed and the building demolished.  Here is a link to learn more about the project.

On my list of must-see museums was the Museum of Craft and Folk Art.  Sadly, it was a disappointing experience.  The museum consists of one room and a gift shop.  There was only one small exhibit (Fiber Futures) on display, which was not at all what I had expected and not worth the price of admission.  My favorite piece was the one that was on display in the gift shop.  For free.  Oh well, maybe I should have done better research on this one before hyping it up in my mind.

side view of the one in the gift shop.

Becky and I also saw an exhibit of photos as part of the Lost and Found Project.  The photos were cast offs from the Memory Salvage Project, which sought to reunite people with their lost photos after the tsunami hit Japan.  Volunteers sorted through more than 750,000 photos, attempting to clean and salvage what they could.  Many of the photos were damaged beyond recognition and were slated to be thrown away.  That is where the Lost and Found Project picked up.  You should watch this great video about the Memory Salvage project here  and a video about the exhibit here.

The exhibit was really powerful.  The photographs, displayed in large groupings, were an aesthetic sight to behold.  Their deteriorated edges and washed out parts created all sorts of morphed shapes and colors. But more than that, the exhibit felt sacred to me, like a memorial.  The faces smiling out from those photos might not have survived the tsunami, the homes they are in have likely disappeared and the couples posing together might not have each other anymore.  It made the devastation of the tsunami feel real to me in a way it had not before.  We stumbled upon this exhibit through a series of right-time, right-place events.  I am very glad we got to spend time with this exhibit and think it is one that has found a firm place in my memory.

Last but not least, the biggie museum.  College friend Ned and I met up for an evening at SF Museum Of Modern Art.  It has been a while since I have been to a museum with so many big names on exhibit.  Ned, who recently finished his MFA in painting, was a wonderful museum companion.  We had a great time interspersing updates on our lives since we last saw each other about 10 years ago (!) with talking about the big questions in art.  I was reminded of the conversations I frequently engaged in while earning my degree in art history.

In learning about what Ned has been up to, I especially enjoyed hearing about his recent series of paintings called Watched.  As you might know about me, I am trying to get past my hesitation to take pictures of strangers.  Well, folks.  Ned takes pictures of strangers on a regular basis and then he paints them.  Go, Ned!  If you are in SF, you can go to Ned's exhibit and see the paintings in person through the end of November.

I visited one more museum, but I am going to save that one for later.  Next up?  Cute dogs.


  1. Glad you are back with such cool stuff. Love the new blog header and your new picture! Becky D.

  2. Thanks! I like refreshing the header. I might have to start doing it more often!


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