Isn’t It Obvious?

Lindsey White, video still from Common Senses

San Francisco Artists Consuming the Banal

January 21 – April 2, 2011
Opening Reception: Friday, January 21, 6 – 8pm

The San Francisco Arts Commission Gallery is pleased to present, Isn’t Obvious? San Francisco Artists Consuming the Banal an exhibition of newly commissioned work by Arthur/Allan, Matthew Kennedy, Kristina Lewis, Jasmin Lim, Daniel Nevers and Lindsey White.


Through the use of video, photography, performance, sculpture and site-specific installation, the exhibiting artists reconfigure both commonplace and iconic objects and images to create wry and humorous works that challenge a basic definition of the everyday. The exhibition critically examines how we visualize our surroundings and in turn asks us to consider in what ways we consume the banal.

Isn’t It Obvious will also have an online component, The Clog. A tongue-in-cheek combination of an exhibition catalog and a blog, The Clog will serve as a site for critical examination of the work in the exhibition and it will also serve as an outlet for all viewers responses to the question, “Isn’t It Obvious?”. This online project will also be a source to connect the public programs to larger dialogs occurring in the art community.

Exhibition curated by: Aimee Le Duc

About the Artists

Matthew Kennedy is creating an installation that includes a video and photographs of him in various stages of jumping up and down. Although the images and accompanying video seem to be capturing a very simple task, the visual and audio presentation ultimately breaks down the movement in a surprising and curious way.

Kristina Lewis is pushing the boundary of her practice by reconsidering an already existing piece, Rigging the Weather, a large scale installation of umbrellas broken down and reconfigured in a stunning, floor-to-ceiling, floating sculpture. Additionally, Inspired by the traditional number of triangular fabric pieces used for each umbrella, Lewis will be showing a series of abstract renderings of the myriad ways an 8-part circle can be represented.

Jasmin Lim’s work is an exploration of the mediated experience. Lim takes iconic photographs of the American West, molds and sculpts them into various twisted forms and then photographs them in a way that obscures scale, depth and the very subject matter until the way of looking becomes the subject itself. Lim also uses this same strategy with water, plastic bags, computer monitors to position the viewer both inside the concepts of looking and outside of the act of seeing.

Daniel Nevers explores the trope that You Can’t Stop Progress in an installation bearing that title at the 155 Grove Street site. Using home-improvement supplies purchased from big-box chain stores, Nevers fills the space with color and pattern in a dizzying display of consumption that challenges our conflation of material goods with perceived self worth. Mixing readymades with hand-built decoys, Nevers uses absurdity and humor to question what is real and what is replica in a semi-narrative environment that suggests a story of renovation gone awry.

Arthur/Allan Through a series of actions artists Brion Nuda Rosch and Chris Sollars, who are collaborating under the moniker, Arthur/Allan, will investigate the unoccupied open space of San Francisco civic buildings. In this series of interactions the pair will make use of the banal and the mundane, producing video works and sculptures that investigate the civic aesthetic and its function.

Lindsey White’s work explores the magical moments of the every day through photography and video. By showing the most simple representations of rocks via photography and sculpture and collapsing all of the favorite moments, best moments onto each other by creating a wall of monitors playing short-videos showing only the best part, White shows us that there is no way to be able to focus on every moment or the best rock, which begs the question, can we really ever focus or find the best moment of any time or thing?

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