Recently, I visited the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts with my Composition for Abstract Art class. A gallery guide was waiting when we arrived. The Earth Machines and Won Ju Lim: Raycraft is Dead exhibits were stellar. So stellar that it was easily one the best curations I’ve seen in some time.
Our gallery guide Rebecca was informative, accessible, and understanding. She delivered insights that kept the class riveted and engaged. The art was fantastic aesthetically but most importantly- displayed strong conceptual depth. My brain felt a refreshing clarity.
The main galleries were closed but that didn’t matter. The spaces upstairs were heaven. Starting with artist Won Ju Lim, from the website: “Can we ever really own a space, either legally, practically, or theoretically? Won Ju Lim’s mixed media installations ask her viewers to consider the psychological relationship they have to their own spaces. By investigating, exploiting, and deconstructing the spaces of her home in Raycraft Is Dead, Lim invites us to rethink our everyday experiences of our own spaces.” Our art interpreter extraordinaire indicated that the artworks were a personal narrative of Jum’s experience with a difficult neighbor. Couldn’t help but laugh due to past memories of challenging local instigators!
Onwards to the next show and in master curator Ceci Moss’ words: “…Earth Machines question how we visualize and manifest the cycles that power the chains of production essential for technological innovation.” Greeting visitors, Spiros Hadjidjanos’ Displaced (Smartphone) made from a 3D printer pushes past physical boundaries. We get the message.
Entering into the main room, Addie Wagenknecht’s hanging installation blinks as a response to a visitor’s device. Collecting data is so easy and artful. Meanwhile, Leslie Show’s paintings create a new yet familiar universe with materials such as ink, acrylic, aluminum, myler, sulfur, bismuth, and polyurethane. This altered world looks beautiful and dangerous.
We left intrigued, amazed, inspired, and angry at the Earth’s destruction highlighted by neighborly distractions. This greatness and both exhibits will end on December 6th. An app isn’t needed to understand technology’s consequences and human connections. Appreciation, understanding, and creativity will do.