SOMArts Cultural Center | 943 Brannan Street
Exhibition Dates: July 9-July 25, 2009
Opening Reception: Thursday, July 9th, 5-7pm
Gallery Hours: Tuesdays-Fridays, 2-7pm, Saturdays 12-5pm
A reception will be held on Thursday, July 9th, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. A free screening follows of the Tim Robbins-directed The Cradle Will Rock, based on the story of the Federal Theatre Projects aborted 1937 production of Marc Blitzsteins labor musical. A host of characters include John Houseman, Diego Rivera, Nelson Rockefeller and Orson Welles.LaborFest Schedule
This multimedia show brings together contemporary artists from the United States and France to provide provocative and compelling views on the effects of capitalism and the state of labor today. Artists include Skylaar Amann, Philippe Barnoud, Joe Blum, Paul Bouchard, Lenny Bové, Sheri Cavan, Michael Chomick, Mike Connor, Slobodan Dimitrov, Chris Dunker, Tom Griscom, Trudi Hauptman, Véronique Held, Mike Kimball, Anthony Lazorko, Jr., Kyle Levinger and Holly Coley, Doug McGoldrick, Douglas Minkler, Mimi Plumb, Aubrey Rhodes, John Robinson, Rachel Schreiber, Elizabeth Sibilia, elin o'Hara slavick, Chris Treggiari, Angela Franks Wells, Marcia Weisbrot, Holly Wong and Steve Zeltzer. Margot Smiths documentary film, WPA Murals in San Francisco / The WPA Murals of Bernard Zakheim / New Deal Public Art: The Works Progress Administration, will be screened throughout the run of the show. Seldom seen prints from the 1950s and 1960s by Emmy Lou Packard (1914-1998), a former WPA artist and assistant to Diego Rivera, will compliment the contemporary art on view.
While Mike Connors banner image of the 1934 General Strike in San Francisco reminds us that the 75th anniversary of that epic battle is being observed with this exhibition, Chris Treggiaris parade float honors those that so heroically fought for workers rights. The women of labor are also honored in photographs by Joe Blum and John Robinson of the construction of our local bridges, as SOMArts hosts Jo Kreiters Flyaway Productions as artists-in-residence with their premiere of The Ballad of Polly Ann. Pertinent to California, the exploited and little rewarding realm of farm labor is ennobled by the scenes of organizing from photographer Mimi Plumb and portraits by photographer Rachel Schreiber. Chris Dunkers photographic eye explores the ghostly caverns of meatpacking plants while Doug McGoldricks photographs create disjointed narratives of patron and worker in the service sector. Painter Holly Wong gives us a global perspective on the individual laborer, while elin oHara slavicks photographs give a human face and individual desire to workers from all walks of life within the United States. The logic of capitalism is questioned in Véronique Helds graphic constructions, as capitalism and its effects on individuality and identity are explored in provocative electronic works by Kyle Levinger/Holly Coley and Elizabeth Sibilia. The architecture and economy of capitalism are captured in prints by Mike Kimball and photographs by Tom Griscom. Doug Minklers exuberant posters and Paul Bouchards assemblages decry the savagery of the capitalist system and Sheri Cavans ceramic figures portray the single-minded focus of the capitalist boss, while Aubrey Rhodess unforgettable painting looks at the victims of the same. The loss of neighborhood and community that results from the collapse of industries is captured in Anthony Lazorko, Jr.s prints. Lenny Bové presents workers of the historic past in surreal paintings, Angela Franks Wells provides a nostalgic serenity to labor in photogravures, and Trudi Hauptman brings a generational legacy to working families in quilts. Philippe Barnoud, Slobodan Dimitrov, and Steve Zeltzer in their photographs, and Skylaar Amann in her comix, remind us that the struggle continues today.
For more information, please contact curator David Duckworth at firstname.lastname@example.org.