WHITE BOX / BLACK BOX

Darlene Tong, Nancy Frank, Tanya Zimbardo and Sharon Grace
Thursday, September 28, 2017

Join The 500 Capp Street Foundation and moderator, Darlene Tong (Board Secretary, La Mamelle / Art Com) for an evening with Nancy Frank (Artist Curator, La Mamelle), Tanya Zimbardo (Assistant Curator of New Media Arts, SFMoMA) and Sharon Grace (Artist and Professor Emerita at the San Francisco Art Institute).

White Box / Black Box explores the historical milestones in the development of artist telecommunication projects, in relation to La Mamelle / Art Com, as well as other creative practitioners in the Bay Area. The evening also celebrated the 40-year anniversary of the 1977 landmark project, Send/Receive, a live two-way satellite broadcast between New York and San Francisco. This groundbreaking art event, of which Sharon Grace and La Mamelle were crucial in organizing on the West Coast, was the first transcontinental artist TV project in the United States.

Test Patterns, A Factional Docudrama (in time), 1979; image courtesy of Lynn Hershman Leeson and Rea Baldridge, La Mamelle / Art Com and the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive.

Residency

Sittings

David Wilson engages The David Ireland House in a hybrid residency and exhibition

January, 2021 – May, 2021

The David Ireland House announces the first long term residency of its kind with Bay Area artist David Wilson. Over the next four months, Wilson will be exploring the archives and situating the House in context of the neighborhood through a series of scored walks and drawing exercises. His residency will conclude with an exhibition, public ephemeral installations, and a series of public programs in spring 2021.

After an initial period of sinking into the House and its surroundings, Wilson plans to create a set of printed directions for visitors to discover sites of neighborhood intervention, with conceptual gestures inspired by David Ireland. These directions offer a constellation of independent experiences that result in a shared intimacy–while remaining safely apart–as a unique opportunity to ‘convene’ in a time when gathering is not possible. 

David Wilson creates observational drawings based in direct experiences with landscape and orchestrates site-based gatherings that draw together a wide net of artists, performers, filmmakers, chefs, and artisans into collaborative relationships. He organized the experimental exhibition The Possible at the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA) and received the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) 2012 SECA Art Award. He has exhibited his work with SFMOMA, was included in the 2010 CA Biennial, and presented a Matrix solo exhibition at BAMPFA. Wilson has received grants from The Andy Warhol Foundation, Southern Exposure, The Center for Craft, Creativity, and Design, and the Kenneth Rainin Foundation. He is based in Oakland, CA.

Image credit: David Wilson, Here Today (durational drawings made as daily practice), January 5, 2020 – April 15, 2020.

Exhibitions

Sittings

A solo exhibition by Bay Area artist David Wilson developed over 4 months in residency at The David Ireland House in 2021

May 1 – July 31, 2021

David Wilson’s exhibition Sittings will share the results of the artist’s 4-month residency that began at The David Ireland House in February 2021. It includes a series of scored walks and drawing exercises, as well as public ephemeral installations that situate the House in the context of the neighborhood. A series of public programs featuring his research into the archives are planned as well.

The exhibition encompasses an installation of Wilson’s work within the Accordion Room, Lightwell, and Garage and features drawings and visual records of his daily durational walks, which act as scores of what he calls “episodic times of going and walking.” Other works included in the exhibition are small and large ‘scores’ in watercolor depicting the horizon from the roof of the House. These works act as durational recordings of his daily routine where pieces of the view are slowly patched together to form one brimming perspective of a horizon.

The House’s Garage will be activated with neighborhood public programs where the audience is­­ invited to discover small artist-created offerings. Wilson will be transforming his walking scores into printed directions that can be picked up at the Garage for free and followed to a few outdoor “Sitting” sites in the neighborhood.

In the public installations around the neighborhood, David Wilson points us to three “Sitting” sites or immersive nooks. Wilson plans to leave an offering—copies of drawings and cassette recordings of musicians and poets—as well as a guest book in which visitors are invited to leave behind a trace of themselves. Within these public spaces, programmed engagements will highlight neighboring artistic producers within the “Sitting” site which includes performers, poets, and artists/neighbors.

Wilson imbues a generosity of his process by making space for others to be creative through his invitations of maps and imprints. Inspired by the works of David Ireland and Anna Halprin, he taps into the audience’s potential by allowing an individual to wander and discover freely within the parameters of open space. In creating a “score for walking,” he orchestrates a feeling that one has “arrived” at something, thinking about simple concepts (like a walk) – yet having taken away an onomatopoeia of an experience.

Inaugural Exhibition: David Ireland’s House

January 15 – March 19, 2016

View Gallery

David Ireland (1930-2009) is best-known for his home at 500 Capp Street, which he embedded with art and slowly transformed into a site-specific installation now regarded as the inspiration, source of materials, and repository for some of his most important work. Following a meticulous two-year restoration effort, visitors to the David Ireland House will be able to experience the late artist’s enigmatic home as he intended, immersing themselves in a 360-degree portrait of this important West Coast conceptual artist.

500 Capp Street’s inaugural exhibition, David Ireland’s House, introduced visitors to Ireland’s art-as-life practice and highlights the newly restored house itself as his greatest artwork. The presentation featured a focused selection of the artist’s most iconic sculptures, drawings, and hand-made furniture, along with ephemera, photographs, and other objects from the home’s 3,000-piece collection. David Ireland’s House, on view January 15 through March 19, 2016, occupied all the exhibition spaces in the home, including the main two floors of Ireland’s living quarters, as well as two new multi-usspaces: the structure’s converted “Accordion Shop” (a room used by the home’s previous owner for his accordion-making business) and the “Garage” (a new exhibition space created in the home’s former car port).

500 Capp Street Foundation Executive Director Carlie Wilmans notes: “While Ireland typically lived surrounded by a substantial, ever-changing number of artworks, the opening installation brings forward his most important pieces, evoking a feeling of lightness and minimalism that not only encourages visitors to explore and look closely, but also highlights the fascinating interior surfaces of the home itself, which reveal traces of the artist’s hand.”

The Sound of Blue

April 8 – August 20, 2016

View Gallery

The second exhibition at the David Ireland House since its inaugural opening to the public, The Sound of Blue introduced viewers to the late artist’s home and artistic practice with a new installation of work drawn from the 500 Capp Street Foundation’s collection. Guest curated by artist Rebecca Goldfarb, the evolving, site-specific installation presented a selection of artworks in various media that explore the riddles embedded in Ireland’s work, his interest in sensory experience, and the marking of time.

The exhibition took its title from the name of a rarely experienced sculpture Ireland made in 1983, The Sound of Blue, which consists of a copper pipe on a concrete base that houses a propane tank. Upon lighting, a blue flame appears and the sound of ignition is amplified by a small microphone — a piece that illustrates Ireland’s fascination with sound, sight, and language, and how sensory information is processed and experienced.

Goldfarb, who selected the works on view, also invited three additional Bay Area artists and the home’s docents to participate in the show by reinterpreting and reconfiguring the installation over the course of its run. Yves Béhar, designer and creator of Fuseproject; Tomas McCabe, filmmaker, executive director of the Black Rock Arts Foundation, and associate director of strategic initiatives for Burning Man; and San Francisco-based artist Amy Trachtenberg in turn intervened and re-situatef certain pieces in the house, thereby creating an exhibition in a continual state of flux. Each guest curator brought their personal experiences and backgrounds to Ireland’s work, allowing new meanings to arise, expanding on the artist’s process-based vocabulary, and echoing his contemplations on the inconstancy of life.

Film Screening

Shadow Forms: Films by Paul Clipson
Thursday, August 18, 2016

The work of San Francisco-based experimental filmmaker Paul Clipson merges projected installation and live collaborative sound performances in order to create a unique cinematic experience. Clipson’s films, mostly created on super 8 film and 16mm, combine natural and urban landscapes, resulting in abstract environments and visual forms. For the David Ireland House, Clipson presents a selection of recent works as well as premiered a new film.

Image credit: still from FEELER, 2016