Art & Development, Citizenship

ambivalence

I embrace my ambi•valence [being pulled two ways] between optimism and pessimism, but an overall ambiguousness has been disorienting lately.

I’ll reel this blog back towards art momentarily
… but in the meantime, the coverage of electoral politics has become both “pornographic” (you can’t look away, as one NPR programmer said today), and yet, any other topic seems trifling.

[Given:] It’s so important to turn out the vote,
but…
[Questionable:] as far as the presidential election, is it really? I live in California and feel like my presidential vote is insignificant. A new infographic on NYTimes.com on state influence by electoral college members explains why.

Of course, in California, the ballot measures are a big fight — don’t believe the hype (“Red Sex, Blue Sex” in this week’s New Yorker Magazine shows how misdirected the evangelical impulse to “preserve” marriage is; rather than targeting gay marriage, red states could address their high divorce rates {linked to high teen pregnancy rates stemming from anti-abortion and abstience-only stances}) and vote no on 8.

—–

Finally a few notes about art•life….

Photography and the Invisible, 1840-1900
SFMOMA
Pretty great. Large educational and enjoyable survey of early photographic works, including goodies like Muybridges, experimental prints made with electro-magnetism, daguerrotypes of the moon, 3-D botanical pictures, and lots of impressively clear photos of faraway planets. Lots to see and think about. Wear sensible shoes and clear the afternoon — the didactic texts are very informative.

Depleted Selves by Cheryl Meeker
Mission 17
I arrived late and didn’t get to digest the whole show, but Meeker is showing some really beautiful portraits wherein the subjects resist identification. Thoughtful and unsettling. I’m undergoing a late-onset respect for fine picture-making, and Meeker’s facility with making cool, exacting images is inspiring.

Elizabeth Mooney
McCaig Welles Rosenthal
An solo show by a MFA friend inaugurates a new gallery. Lots of small paintings on panels layered with landscape contours, as well as a few curious objects, like real branches covered in mirror tiles and a kinetic kalidescopic installation for viewing paintings.

Shifted Focus
Kearny Street Workshop
OK, I’m in this show, but I’m honored to be in it with some well-respected longtime locals. The curators, Ellen Oh and Sally Szwed, have put together an interesting show of new contemporary works, many of which might surprise you. From the press release,

In reflecting back over a decade of APAture festivals, we have chosen to also look forward by selecting new works by each artist, many of which have never previously been shown. … The artists featured in SHIFTED FOCUS have all produced work that functions as interpreters of our common surroundings. While in the past many have looked inward at issues of identity, now they are looking outward at the world and investigating it through various vantage points—by zooming in, dissecting, inverting, or filtering through a critical or historical lens.

See photos of Shifted Focus on Jenifer Wofford’s blog.

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