The Cabinet

A web-based publication critically engaging the work of Bay Area Conceptual artist David Ireland and his home at 500 Capp Street through essays, writings, and dialogues.

The Earth Touching Buddha: The Moment of Enlightenment for David Ireland

by Kelly Velasco May 23, 2023

“If I had a prior vision, in Burma it all became a reality, and for me this trip really started there…There is some magic here and it can only be explained by some history of Devotion.”1 This is an excerpt from a letter David Ireland wrote to a friend while on his trip to South […]

A State of Touching II

by Bells Howard July 22, 2021

“It’s a state of touching the surrounding energy and I shudder.” Clarice Lispector, Agua Viva, 1973 To experience an object as art while aware of its memory, is to intensely experience it. There are places full of objects that touch, and, in return, fill you with the desire to touch back. There is a physical […]

The Center of a Present Action

by Steven Loscutoff January 15, 2021

The average person will look at a work of art for 27.2 seconds.1 In this moment, what will they see, what do they think, what can they know? Let’s take a longer moment to look at a particular work of the artist David Ireland: a concrete painting from A Portion of: From the Year of Doing the […]

Got Five Minutes?

by Foxy November 5, 2020

Calling all David Ireland neighbors, colleagues, students, collaborators, family, and friends! This month marks 45 years since “The punch press was dragged away,” and David Ireland purchased his house at 500 Capp Street. On November 5, 1975, accordion maker and previous owner Paul Greub dragged his punch press out the front door, leaving a gouge […]

There is a Terrible Heaviness of Life in all Things Animate and Inanimate

by Bells Howard September 15, 2020

“Delving means touching too deeply. Pressing your hand instead of using that lovely light flickering touch you just showed me. It sometimes happens unintentionally, when dream-givers become too interested in what they are touching. When they start to like it too much.”  -Lois Lowry, Gossamer, 20061 There is a terrible heaviness of life in all […]

Interpreting The House as it Lives

by Camile e. Messerley September 15, 2020

Almost tripping, I read the plaque on the sidewalk outside of The David Ireland House, “Art lets us make observations of things that were always there.”1 Walking up and down Twentieth Street a few months before moving to the Bay Area, I was visiting Oakland to help install the second leg of Basic Essentials, an […]

Institutional Green: Materialized, Sensorialized

by Justin R. Nagle September 15, 2020

David Ireland is not often considered a colorist. In his work, Ireland used muted subdued tones meant to play with light, and sometimes would add a vibrant pop of red or blue. One such color, Battleship grey, coats the house’s exterior façade and is so innocuous that passersby could miss the structure nestled on the […]

A Palate Cleanser from the Outside World

by Sam Claude Carmel September 15, 2020

The Accordion Room at The David Ireland House is a working hybrid. It preserves the past in marks and evidence of prior inhabitants, while also making space for new projects, installations, and perspectives. I’m dreaming of a space like this room as I have been living under quarantine as a result of Covid-19. I’ve learned […]

Returning Full Circle

by William Moncayo September 15, 2020

Reflections on the exhibition “There is no such thing as a perfect circle” by Felipe Dulzaides “Draw a line everyday,” exclaimed 500 Capp Street Foundation board member Jane Reed. She brought this to our attention as an exercise of creativity in our artistic practice during recent shelter in place orders due to COVID-19. A simple […]