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Announcement
September 4, 2018

Experience It: conversation series with Rosa Barba, Simon Fujiwara, and Shahryar Nashat

California College of the Arts (CCA)

View of Rosa Barba, Solar Flux Recordings, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía 2017. Metal, color glass filters, and engraved plates. Photo: Joaquín Cortés / Román Lores. © Rosa Barba.

Immersive exhibitions that stimulate multiple senses—hearing, seeing, tasting, touching, even smelling—are common in contemporary art today. Museums, galleries, biennials, and art fairs are presenting work by artists who interweave objects, images, texts, sound, video, and performance into dense, enveloping environments. These presentations physically implicate viewers in orchestrated situations, both inside and outside the institution, where art and ideas coalesce through the direct experience of space and time. Often complex in the making, the work requires artists and their studios to corral a range of skilled resources to produce something well beyond the expertise and confines of an artist’s studio.

This development speaks to the changing characteristics of the artist figure—manager and artistic director, negotiator and administrator—in reaction to expectations of art institutions and audiences who crave more experiential engagement with contemporary art.

Experience It is a conversation series about this shift. In dialogue with visiting artists, the series examines, among other things, the social and architectural conditions of an exhibition site. The format includes conversations between each artist and curator/art historian James Voorhies, as well as viewings of film clips, performances, and images of their work. Experience It aims to reveal why artists choose their given artistic approaches, how institutions support them, and how they imagine their audiences as integral to the art, ultimately arriving at a better understanding of the “it” in the work.

Shahryar Nashat (RSVP here)
In his sculptures, photographs, and films, the work of Shahryar Nashat often addresses the representation of the body and the conventions of mediation and presentation. Nashat finds great pleasure in details, and his works—with their near-obsessive methods of framing and cropping—draw the viewer into a world of clandestine forms, artful gestures, and posturing.

Simon Fujiwara (RSVP here)
Simon Fujiwara has shaped a complex and rich practice that interweaves performance, film, sculpture, and text into highly immersive environmental installations exploring the inherent contradictions in meaning and interpretation of image and representation. Often bringing personal experiences (both real and imagined) into contact with broader historical, social, and political topics, his expansive practice examines the influence that marketing, advertising, social media, and other communication mechanisms have on the construction of personal identity.

Rosa Barba (RSVP here)
Rosa Barba is an artist with a particular interest in film and the ways it articulates space. Taking a conceptual approach to filmmaking, questions of composition, physicality of form, and plasticity play an important role in the perception of her work. She interrogates the industry of cinema with respect to various forms of staging, such as gesture, genre, information, and documents, taking them out of the context in which they are normally seen and reshaping and representing them anew.

CCA Graduate Program in Curatorial Practice
CCA’s Graduate Program in Curatorial Practice is newly relocated to Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, a dynamic arts institution in downtown San Francisco. The move projects learning beyond the walls of the academy, taking advantage of the rich cultural context of the Bay Area and providing a unique environment for training curators. Graduate seminars are held at YBCA inside the Curatorial Research Bureau (CRB), a combined bookshop, academic site, and public program where students intersect with changing book inventories, participate in programs, and meet visiting practitioners from the Bay Area and beyond. The CRB is produced in collaboration with Berlin-based distributor and publisher Motto Books.

The Lab
Located in San Francisco’s Redstone Building, The Lab is a not-for-profit arts organization and performance space founded in 1984 that aims to serve as a catalyst for artistic experimentation.

Experience It is organized by James Voorhies, Chair of the Graduate Program in Curatorial Practice at California College of the Arts, in partnership with Dena Beard, Director of The Lab. Generous support provided by Marv Tseu and Mary Mocas.

Thank you!

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