Opening and Reception on Friday September 24, 2010
Free and open to the public
Special performance by Nightmare City with Copy Lake at 8p.m.
"All that is solid melts into air, all that is holy is profaned, and man is at last compelled to face with sober senses his real conditions of life, and his relations with his kind." - Karl Marx
All that is Solid Melts into Air: Nightmare City with Copy Lake, Erin Elder and Sam Green is an exhibition that brings together three investigations into the legacy of 1960s counterculture and its effects on contemporary life and art practice.
Nightmare City (Carol Anne McChrystal and Keturah Cummings) present a new work in collaboration with Copy Lake (Alex S. Lukas,) an interdisciplinary performance piece, NIGHTMARE CITY COPY LAKE THE HORDE. The work explores the process by which 1960s counter-culture, despite its former political and cultural potency, has become a flaccid caricature of its own values in popular culture. The performance reinterprets the songs A Home is Not a Motel (Love), Hotel California (The Eagles), California Dreamin' (The Mamas & the Papas), and Dreams (Fleetwood Mac.) Seamlessly merged, the songs are performed with lyrics intact but accompanied by and filtered though mangled amusical tape loops and washes of noise. The performance is punctuated by psychedelic projections, in which retro aesthetics and form are mediated by digital interventions such as wipes and pixelization. Vibrant dashiki costumes are spray-painted dull beige, tambourines and hand-made, pan-ethnic, mysterious percussive instruments turn prop-like, becoming totem-poles of multi-dimensional and occult-based dream catchers adorned with strings of Tibetan bells. The performance was recorded at sites historically significant to the 1960s counterculture movement in California, including Altamont, People's Park (Berkeley), Golden Gate Park (San Francisco), and Monterey and will be performed at Queens Nails Projects for the exhibition's opening.
Erin Elder is an independent curator and writer based in New Mexico whose research is centered on Drop City, an artist commune formed in Colorado in 1965. She is a co-founder of PLAND, Practice Liberating Art through Necessary Dislocation, an off-the-grid residency program that supports the development of experimental and research-based projects in the context of the Taos mesa. Elder currently writes the blog Red Legacy, a collection of notes on the possible intersections between commune building, land use, and art practice. For this exhibition, she provides a library of source material that has influenced her writing and curatorial practice. In her own words, Elder describes the materials as "...basically any books about communes, the 60s, alternative living, LSD, DIY living/building, anarchy, back-to-the-land, nudity, psychedelia, activism, community organizing, underground newspapers, hippies, San Francisco, alternative education, early computers, rock and roll, social change, radicalism, trash, recycling, toilets, adobe, domes, free love, summer of love, groovy, Haight Ashbury, Woodstock, health food, The Situationists, everyday life, protest, and consciousness."
Sam Green is a documentary filmmaker best known for the Academy Award nominated, feature-length documentary The Weather Underground. For this exhibition he presents Lot 63, Grave C, a short documentary film about Meredith Hunter, the teenager killed at the Rolling Stones' Altamont concert in 1969. Hunter's death has come to signify the collapse of 1960s utopian idealism, but little is known about Hunter as an individual. Buried in an unmarked grave, Hunter's personal story appears to have been forgotten while the event of his death remains an important moment in American history. Lot 63, Grave C has screened at film festivals such as Sundance, Rotterdam, Ann Arbor, San Francisco, Black Maria, Nashville, Los Angeles, Seattle, PDX, Tekfestival (Rome), Silverlake, and the Dallas Video Festival.
Queens Nails Projects is a curatorial collective platform that is dedicated to presenting audio, video, and performance-based projects. QNP aims to challenge both emerging and established cultural producers to work outside their 'normal' practice in order to produce new and unique projects. Located in the Mission district of San Francisco, QNP is co-directed and curated by, Julio Cesar Morales, Pablo Guardiola and Zoe Taleporos with Kim Silva, Justin Hoover, Jackie Im, Cal Volver-Dison, Chris Hood and Shemomitsu.