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Off Site and Outta Sight

August 7, 2013

Congratulations are due to Berkeley alumnus Jonn Herschend, MFA ’06, and the three other recipients of San Francisco Museum of Modern Art’s biennial SECA Award for local artists, announced today. In previous years, an exhibition of the winners’ works would be mounted at the museum, complete with the usual wine-and-cheese reception. But this year, the museum is closed for construction, so things are a little more interesting if less convenient (and, possibly, less tasty). Each of the four recipients has produced a commissioned work to be shown off-site September 14 through November 17, in a place befitting their medium of choice. Herschend often works with film, so his Stories from the Evacuation will premier on the museum website (a trailer is already available). The piece is composed of interviews with museum staff and footage of SFMoMA’s closing, but Herschend has a fondness for “unreliable narrators,” so the result is likely to be more surprising than documentary. (His Untitled—PowerPoint Presentation Number 2 appeared in the Spring 2011 issue of California.)

Recipient David Wilson has concocted six self-guided tourmaps that each begin at the closed museum and lead viewers to a different site-specific work. (Wilson is currently collaborating with Lawrence Rinder on a group exhibit at the Berkeley Art Museum for winter 2014.) The remaining two recipients have produced more stationary works. Josh Faught, in his first local solo exhibition, has created a soft sculpture for San Francisco’s Neptune Society Columbarium. Zarouhie Abdalian (her MATRIX 249  is currently on exhibit at BAM) has come up with a set of brass bells to be installed out of sight on rooftops around Oakland’s Frank Ogawa Plaza; the bells will ring simultaneously at slightly different times each day over the course of the exhibit.

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