Saturday, January 12, 2008

Jenifer Wofford, Chris Bell, Bruce Tomb and Elaine Buckholtz at Southern Exposure

The venerable Southern Exposure, currently in a lovely temporary location on 14th Street between Valencia and Mission, presents four concurrent solo shows this month. There are several great projects by artists I've had the pleasure to work with in this one.

As you approach the gallery, a wave psychedelic light washes over the sidewalk, trees and passersby. This is Elaine Buckholtz' Scenes for a Box Carnival, an Op-Art inspired intervention into public space projected from the gallery's storefront windows.

The theatrical approach continues inside, with Slow Pan Interior, an installation by Chris Bell. An image of the gallery skips across its own walls, inverting the space in which we stand. Sydney-born Bell recently completed his MFA from Stanford and a subsequent residency at Headlands. His works are kinetic experiments, electrified and illuminated.

Detail of a poster on Bruce Tomb's Art Wall

In the bathroom, Bruce Tomb has mounted a new version of his (de)Appropriation Project Archive all over the walls. The installation consists of messages he culled from tags and posters on the "art wall" of a former police station he owns on Valencia Street. Tomb is an architect, designer and artist, who co-designed Headlands' latrine and has a business, Infinite Fitting, designing bathroom fixtures. So, a natural location for his installation, I guess.

Jenifer K. Wofford, Unseen Forces

Finally, in the rear gallery, is another of my favorite artists/people in the Bay Area, Jenifer K. Wofford. Her Unseen Forces installation is a continuation of a theme she began with her 2005 exhibition Chicksilog at the Richmond Art Center, which I had the pleasure of working on. In this iteration, all the Chicksilogs appear to have been detained by the Transportation Security Administration, leaving their island paradise an uninhabited and fully secure location bedecked with metal detectors. Wofford just finished getting her MFA from UC Berkeley, and is also the organizer of the international traveling exhibition project Galleon Trade, featuring other great Bay Area artists like Mike Arcega, Julio Cesar Morales, Stephanie Syjuco, and introducing Mexican and Filipino artists to SF, at the Luggage store later this year.

Southern Exposure will move again before the year is out. Check out their current space while you can, chill in their backyard bamboo garden, and say hello to the awesome and friendly staff: Courtney, Maysoun and Aimee.

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