Three New Shows at SF Camerawork This Summer Including the first Bay Area showing of the work of Beijing-based
contemporary artists RongRong & inri, as well as an exhibition in celebration of LGBT Pride guest curated by David Deitcher and a solo showing of the work of emerging photographer Chris McCaw
June 5 August 23, 2008
Opening reception: Thursday, June 5, from 5 to 8 p.m.
SAN FRANCISCO This summer, SF Camerawork presents three new photography
exhibitions including Ruins to Renewal: Works by RongRong & inri, the first
Bay Area showing of work by this pioneering avant-garde Beijing-based duo;
Alan B. Stone and the Senses of Place, a historical exhibition guest curated
by celebrated art historian and author David Deitcher that examines the life
and work of gay Canadian photographer Alan B. Stone; and Sunburn, a solo
exhibition of the work of emerging, local artist Chris McCaw. All events
take place at SF Camerawork, the Bay Areas only non profit gallery
dedicated to contemporary photography located in the heart of San
Franciscos vibrant downtown art scene at 657 Mission Street.
Ruins to Renewal: Works by RongRong & inri
Guest curator Britta Erickson, a well-known expert on contemporary Chinese
art, brings together a moving exhibition of the works of renowned
contemporary Chinese photographer RongRong and his Japanese wife inri in
Ruins to Renewal: Works by RongRong & inri.
In the long river of time, we are always blank, but the photos are pieces
of evidence, memories, and everything. Chinese photographer RongRong made
this statement in reference to a large group of photographs that date from
1994 through 2008 entitled the Liu Li Tun series. On display at SF
Camerawork, this series of photographic works were made around RongRongs
former home in the Beijing neighborhood of Liu Li Tun. The photographs
document the neighborhoods transformation and destruction, from the
artists daily life with the 1990s avant-garde art movement, to his
collaborations with his Japanese photographer-wife inri, to their creation
of the Three Shadows Photography Art Centre in Beijing.
RongRong first garnered critical acclaim for his photographs of Chinas
first wave of avant-garde performance artists living in the Beijing artist
colony known ironically as the East Village. Eventually police closed down
the East Village colony after a series of extreme endurance and nude
performances that attracted the attention of officials (public nudity was
illegal, even in a private enclosed space). RongRong then moved to Liu Li
Tun, an old neighborhood of traditional courtyard houses and hutongs (small
alleyways), where he began to create photographs of the daily life in the
house he shared with other artists.
RongRong met inri in Tokyo in 1999. Formally trained as a photographer at
the Nippon Photography Institute, inri was a successful portrait
photographer in Japan before embarking on her partnership with RongRong.
Visiting Beijing in 2000, inri was struck by the peaceful world of Liu Li
Tun that stood in sharp contrast to her life in Tokyo. The two began a life
partnership, creating a home, a family and a shared body of work. Despite
not sharing a language initially, the two found a deep spiritual affinity
and visual understanding.
Together, RongRong & inri created photographs depicting the nurturing
environment of Liu Li Tun and the formative role it played in their life
together before it was demolished as part of the citys massive
redevelopment program. They also memorialized the destruction of Liu Li Tun
in a series of photographs of its ruins, often posing singly or together in
many of the images. The poignant and romantic drama that runs as a thread
through much of their collaborative oeuvre finds a somber and elegant
expression in this series that signifies the end of an era.
Three Shadows, Beijing, their most recent series of works, represents a
stage of renewal. It records the process of building the Three Shadows
Photography Art Centre, allowing the viewer to witness the results from the
point of view of the artists. Founded by RongRong & inri, Three Shadows is
the first arts center of its kind in China, with an ambitious mission to
promote the development of contemporary Chinese photography.
This exhibition is funded by grants from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the
Visual Arts and the Columbia Foundation.
Alan B. Stone and the Senses of Place
Alan B. Stone and the Senses of Place is a historical exhibition that
examines the social and cultural conditions affecting the life and work of
Alan B. Stone, a gay photographer who worked prolifically in Montreal,
Canada from the 1950s to the 1970s. Celebrated historian and curator David
Deitcher, who also grew up in Montreal, presents Stone's work as a means of
exploring some of the ways in which Deitcher himself subjectively
experiences, uses and is affected by photographs.
Alan B. Stone (1928-1992) was a commercial photographer who photographed the
city of Montreal during the postwar period that historians often refer to as
les annes noirs (the dark years) due to the dismal and repressive economic,
political, cultural and homophobic atmosphere. This repressive environment
is clearly exhibited at SF Camerawork via the display of old news clips
related to events such as the arrests of homosexuals in the 1950s and 1960s.
Many of the photographs in the exhibition depict Stones sense of place
through his images of Old Montreal and its then bustling port; of suburban
neighborhoods where seasonal hockey rinks attracted young people during the
long winter months; and of youth at a bucolic Boy Scouts summer camp.
Stones discrete point of view suggests surveillance, pictures taken on the
sly, as if collecting evidence of some unidentified crime. He identified the
nature of that offense in the early 1950s when he took a picture of a metal
sign bolted to the trunk of a tree in suburban Lachine Park. In French and
English, the sign on the tree reads: PERSONS OF GOOD EDUCATION AND MORALS
ARE INVITED TO THIS PARK.
Despite this suffocating atmosphere, Stone set up the Mark One Studio in the
basement of the home he shared with his mother and created and marketed male
physique photographs throughout the 1950s and 60s, a time that became known
as the golden age of beefcake photography. The photographs made under the
Mark One name portray how, in a pre-Stonewall era, the experience of the
closet not only shaped homosexual artists lives, it also determined the
aesthetic forms of their work.
Alan B. Stone and the Senses of Place includes photographs printed from the
original negatives held by Archives Gaies de Qubec, photographs on loan
from comuse du Fier Monde, Montreal, photographs on loan from The Magazine
in San Francisco as well as a series of ephemeral objects lent to the
exhibition by private collectors.
David Deitcher is the author of Dear Friends: American Photographs of Men
Together, 1840-1918 and curator of the exhibition by the same name that
appeared at the International Center of Photography in New York. He also was
the editor of The Question of Equality: Lesbian and Gay Politics in America
Since Stonewall. As an accomplished writer and critic, David Deitchers
essays have appeared in Artforum, Art in America, Parkett, the Village
Voice, and other periodicals, as well as in numerous anthologies and
monographs. Since 2003 he has been on the faculty of the International
Center of Photography/Bard College Program in Advanced Photographic Studies.
SF Camerawork presents a solo exhibition of the work of emerging, San
Francisco-based photographer Chris McCaw as part of its New Works Program.
In his series, Sunburn, McCaw turns the subject of his work, the sun, into
an active participant in the printmaking process, creating fascinating
prints that are literally burned by the path of the sun. The body of work
was the result of a happy accident. Intending to create an all night
exposure of the stars while camping, McCaw failed to wake up before sunrise.
He discovered that while the nights exposure had been destroyed, an
interesting phenomenon had occurred on the film base, which had a hole burnt
through it from the intense rays of the rising sun.
The exhibition at SF Camerawork displays McCaws most recent images that are
made by putting paper, in place of film, in his cameras film holder. Each
paper negative, due to varying sky conditions and length of exposure, is
scorched by the sun to differing degrees, sometimes burning completely
through the paper base. McCaw uses both an 8x10 view camera and a home
made 16x20 camera to create the paper negatives. As a result of the
intense sun exposure, the sky reacts in an effect called solarization, which
turns the paper negative into a positive. When developed, the paper
negatives become actual one-of-a-kind prints.
This exhibition is funded by a grant from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the
All exhibitions are on view Tuesdays Saturdays 12-5 p.m. at SF Camerawork,
657 Mission St., Second Floor. Admission is $5.00; $2.00 for students and
seniors; free to Camerawork members. For more information, the public should
visit www.sfcamerawork.org or call 415.512.2020.
About SF Camerawork
Founded in 1974, SF Camerawork encourages emerging and mid-career artists to
explore new directions in photography and related media by fostering
creative forms of expression that push existing boundaries. Throughout its
history, SF Camerawork has nurtured artists, mentored youth and helped make
San Francisco a destination for the exploration of photography as an
artists medium. Its exhibitions are nationally recognized as a focal point
for innovation, a pacesetter for new trends in the medium and a launching
pad for the careers of young artists. With three galleries and an education
center at its new centrally located facility, SF Camerawork is the only
non-profit organization in the Bay Area with an exhibition space and
educational programs focused exclusively on contemporary photography and
related visual image media. It is an accessible venue for people to view
exhibitions, meet artists, participate in educational programs, peruse
photographic publications, and gather for lectures, screenings, portfolio
reviews, and discussions.
Event submitted by Eventful.com on behalf of nina911.
Added by suemking on May 14, 2008