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.

Inaugural Exhibition: David Ireland’s House

January 15 – March 19, 2016

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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

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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

The Echo

September 9, 2016 – January 14, 2016

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This thematic installation of Ireland’s work draws inspiration from the artist’s interest in the tension between a physical place and the translation of that site through memory. The exhibition also debuts an important new gift of artwork to the house, Delection (1981), given to the foundation by Bay Area-based collectors Randi and Bob Fisher.

Co-organized by the foundation’s curators Diego Villalobos and Bob Linder, the exhibition takes its title from a notion of Ireland’s interest in history and memory, and the slippage—or the echo—that occurs when a concrete place or moment is imagined and materialized as an object in his art process. It also highlights how Ireland’s experiences as a world traveler influenced his relationship to place.

The Echo features new sculptures, photographs, and works on paper on view alongside the home’s most iconic permanent pieces and architectural features. A number of Ireland’s “Skellig Series” Painted Photographs from 1994 form the centerpiece of presentation, and will be showcased in the home’s Accordion Shop space. This group of altered photographs, first exhibited at the Ansel Adams Center for Photography in San Francisco, resulted from the artist’s travels in Skellig Michael, a remote island off the southwest coast of Ireland.

Curator Talk

Jane Reed on Skellig Michael
Thursday, September 15, 2016

A conversation between Jane Reed and Paco Prieto.

San Francisco-based filmmaker and curator Jane Reed shares her experience of traveling with David Ireland to the island of Skellig Michael in 1983, where David explored his fascination with the landscape, which led to the creation of his “Skellig” Painted Photographs—his first venture into photography.

Paco Prieto, artist and long-time friend of David Ireland will be in conversation with Reed, discussing art practices and more. Prieto’s material of choice is primarily wood, but he is a versatile multi media constructionist and skillfully utilizes metal, glass and stone in his custom large scale architectural fixtures. He lives and works at the Prieto Studios in Oakland, founded by his family in the early 1970’s.