Press Release: Now & When

San Francisco Arts Commission Gallery
401 Van Ness Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94102
t: 415.554.6080
f: 415.554.6093

The San Francisco Arts Commission Gallery presents

Now & When
10 Newly Commissioned Time Capsules by Bay Area Artists

June 4 – September 4, 2010
Opening Reception:
Friday, June 4, 6 – 8pm

In celebration of its 40th anniversary, the San Francisco Arts Commission (SFAC) Gallery will present Now & When, an exhibition featuring commissioned works by ten emerging and established Bay Area artists. This thematic presentation is based on the concept of time capsules as a paradoxical act of preserving an object, idea, material or event. New projects by The Bureau of Urban Secrets, Guillermo Gómez-Peña, Taro Hattori, Packard Jennings, Lynn Hershman Leeson, Ken Lo, Gay Outlaw & Bob Schmitz, Joseph del Pesco, Paul Schiek and Margaret Tedesco & Matt Borruso, critically confront the value, meaning and methodologies of marking time and assigning narrative to events both in the past and future. While many of the time capsules in Now & When reflect a deeply personal perspective, others turn a timely and critical eye toward subjects ranging from pop culture to the history of urban space.

2010 marks the 40th anniversary of the SFAC Gallery, and this exhibition draws its inspiration from a time capsule project produced by the Gallery in 1990. This previous capsule contained small works by artists such as the Gorilla Girls and Karen Finley that responded to the actions of Senator Jesse Helms, the NEA, and issues surrounding censorship. The capsule was transported by protestors down Van Ness Street in front of City Hall, and ceremoniously buried in the empty lot next to the Gallery’s then home at 155 Grove Street. As originally intended, it was exhumed five years later and the contents were exhibited as a reminder of recent cultural and political struggles.

For this exhibition Guillermo Gómez-Peña has opened his archive and produced audio recordings of a significant number of previously unrecorded works. An intimate listening station houses this audio time capsule. Visitors can also sign up for a one-on-one session with Gómez-Peña in which he will select specific texts just for them. Lynn Hershman Leeson also encapsulates her artistic process by sharing the technical timelines she’s constructed during the making of her new feature film !Women Art Revolution, which premieres at MoMA in New York this fall. A short preview of the film will also be on view in Now & When, giving San Franciscans their first view of this epic documentary project that documents women in the arts for the past forty years.

Jospeh del Pesco has amassed the first edition of every contemporary arts magazine that has been produced in the Bay Area, and will share them through a customized web site. In conjunction with the web-based time capsule of past publications, there will also be a subscription-based lending library of over thirty current art magazines produced across the globe. For their time capsule, Margaret Tedesco & Matt Borruso exhibit a collection of movie stills depicting scenes in which the characters are forever changed upon the discovery of something from the past or the future.

Ken Lo turns to personal subject matter, by working with dozens of local artists who have exhibited at the SFAC Gallery. In a video format, each artist recounts the details of a transformative, intimate encounter. Lo memorialized each of those encounters with a unique trophy of his own creation. Packard Jennings also gathers local artists together in the creation of his time capsule. Over the course of multiple dinner parties the artists discuss what the time capsule should contain and how they will make it. The documentation of the dinners will be on hand.

Capsules by the Bureau of Urban Secrets, Packard Jennings, Gay Outlaw and Bob Schmitz, Paul Schiek and Taro Hattori are also in development.

This exhibition is supported in part by the Zellerbach Family Foundation.

Media contacts:
Meg Shiffler, 415.252.2568 or
Aimee Le Duc: 415.554.6080 or
Photographs available upon request.

Exhibition Locations and Artists:
SFAC Main Gallery

401 Van Ness Avenue (at McAllister), San Francisco, CA 94102
Gallery Hours: Wednesday – Saturday, 12 – 5pm
The Bureau of Urban Secrets, Guillermo Gómez-Peña, Packard Jennings, Lynn Hershman Leeson, Ken Lo, Gay Outlaw & Bob Schmitz, Joseph del Pesco, Paul Schiek and Margaret Tedesco & Matt Borruso.

SFAC Gallery Window Installation Site
155 Grove Street, San Francisco, CA  94102
Gallery Hours: Viewable 24/7
Taro Hattori


About the San Francisco Arts Commission Gallery
Located in the heart of San Francisco’s Civic Center, the San Francisco Arts Commission Gallery makes contemporary art accessible to broad audiences through curated exhibitions that both reflect our regional diversity and position Bay Area visual art production within an international contemporary art landscape. By commissioning new works, collaborating with arts and community organizations and supporting artist’s projects, the SFAC Gallery’s programs provide new and challenging opportunities for contemporary art to engage with a civic dialogue. The SFAC Gallery was founded in 1970 and is the exhibitions program of the San Francisco Arts Commission, the arts agency of the City and County of San Francisco.

About the San Francisco Arts Commission
The San Francisco Arts Commission is the City agency that champions the arts in San Francisco. We believe that a creative cultural environment is essential to the City’s well-being. Our programs integrate the arts into all aspects of City life. The Commission was established by charter in 1932 (Charter sections 5.103 and 16.106).

SFAC Galleries

401 Van Ness (at McAllister), Ste. 126
San Francisco, CA 94102
Phone: 415-252-2244

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