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Posts by Megan Seelie

Mel Bochner: Five Artists In One

by Megan Seelie on September 25th, 2010

'No', 2010. oil on canvas

Have you ever been to a solo show where you are convinced there were multiple artists on display? That’s how I felt while visiting Fraenkel Gallery’s Mel Bochner: Photographs and Not Photographs 1966 – 2010, spanning Bochner’s work from 1966 to 2010, a potent time for conceptual and Post-Minimalist art in America. Each work tempted me to the next like a carrot on a stick with a continuation of the concepts that he wove throughout the gallery using photography and painting. Furthermore, quotes from Sartre, Proust, Duchamp and the Miriam-Webster Dictionary about photography, blocks, monuments, painting and a multitude of other topics illuminated his photos and paintings. Bochner’s show presents many ideas, but lacks a specific point which is successful in that it allows the viewer a great deal of room to ponder, explore and enjoy without feeling that an answer must be found. Continue Reading More »

The Fecal Face Decade

by Megan Seelie on September 14th, 2010

painting by Sylvia Ji

A thick cloud of people accumulated outside The Luggage Store Gallery (SF) on Friday night to witness the 10th anniversary of Fecal Face. Fecal Face started back in 2000 when the punk rock skater kid, John Trippe started showcasing artists he thought were rad online at fecal face dot com. Since 2000, Fecal Face has developed a cycle in which “the artists that gravitate towards us are also the same artists that we lean towards” (Trippe).

The Luggage Store Gallery

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The Hunt (A L@TE Friday Gathering at BAM/PFA)

by Megan Seelie on August 17th, 2010

Jamie Stewart (Xiu Xiu) tossed cymbals, banged gongs, and blew bird whistles into a microphone on Friday night at the Berkeley Art Museum as part four of the Gatherings series curated by David Wilson. Stewart aimed to create sounds inspired by “the night, animal calls, and quietness.” His performance was completely chaotic seeming to be propelled by nothing more than Stewart’s impulses creating an animalistic element.  The crashing cymbals, that even Stewart plugged his ears for, induced a shock that hastened heart rates, increased anxiety levels and seemed to put its listeners on edge. Upon closing my eyes a primal feeling arose inside me as if I were an animal being hunted in the night. Continue Reading More »

Sleeping in Public

by Megan Seelie on July 30th, 2010

A tall slight man carried a blank sign through the sea of seated people silencing them in his wake. Then Liz Harris, of the music project Grouper, trickled through the crowd and the sounds began cascading down from the cement balconies that comprise the University of Berkeley’s Art Museum. Grouper’s installation performance piece SLEEP is part two of four Friday night ‘Gatherings’ curated by David Wilson at the Berkeley Art Museum. In this performance Liz Harris uses tape-collage, live instruments and the cavernous architecture of the Berkeley Art Museum to create a ‘downward-pulling current, lulling with the hiss and resonating pulse of watery sound and light’.

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What Did They Want?

by Megan Seelie on July 12th, 2010

Image courtesy Altman Siegel Gallery

The phrase “They Knew What They Wanted” poses countless questions, especially when placed as the title of a collaborative exhibition between four galleries across the city of San Francisco. As it turns out “They” are artists chosen by each gallery to curate a show comprised of artwork from the backrooms of all four galleries. Altman Siegel Gallery chose Los Angeles based photographer, Shannon Ebner to curate their portion of the show. She chose a series of thirteen random objects ranging from glasses of water to photographs to a baby incubator in an attempt to show that “reality is comprised of basic units.”  The show at Altman Siegel is successfully disjointed with pieces that are singularly intriguing. Tom Otterness’s Broken Humpty Dumpty’, a bronzed Humpty Dumpty situated on the floor, creates a vibrant dialog with the viewer because of its surroundings. Ebner knew what she wanted from the back rooms of these galleries, but you will have to look to Fraenkel Gallery, Ratio 3, and John Berggruen Gallery to see what their selected artists wanted.

SENSEable Cities: Exploring Urban Futures

by Megan Seelie on June 17th, 2010

Flyfire Team: Carlo Ratti, Assaf Biderman, Carnaven Chiu, E Roon Kang,
Caitlin Zacharias, Shaocong Zhou

An idea based gallery show with no tangible objects, everything in the exhibition SENSEable Cities: Exploring Urban Futures can be found online. The group show which is on now at GAFFTA Gallery consists of fifteen awesome and innovative projects chosen from MIT’s SENSEable Cities Laboratory that aim at posing questions and creating sustainable solutions to our rapidly evolving cities. The Copenhagen Wheel is just one solution that encourages sustainability and mobility by being a bicycle wheel that can turn your pushbike into an electric bike and communicate with your smart phone about traffic patterns and pollution levels along your route. However, the wheel was not at the gallery, in fact none of the projects had a tangible component, they were represented by wall texts, photos and a looping video. Everyone should be familiarized with MIT’s SENSEable Cities Laboratory, however, trekking all the way to GAFFTA Gallery to do so seems rather unnecessary when you can just flip your laptop open to http://senseable.mit.edu and see the whole show and much more.