As fog hovers over the bay, we lament the loss of summer. Naturally, we physiologically expect warm sunny days, and why not? A tropical San Francisco summer might be nice. By default the tropics are a construction, both by geography and by culture, equally defined by authentic characteristics as well by fantasy, commerce and desire. The tropical, as adjective, sets itself to the constant challenge of balancing its multiple realities and the expectations placed upon its self. Like many other contradictions it faces the very fact that in every cliché there is always some truth close to the stereotype.
The exhibition SF Tropical attempts to explore these realities and work as a hub while playing off stereotypes that will produce two group exhibitions and a series of one-off events during the summer in San Francisco at Queens Nails Projects.
SF Tropical Pt 1 videos:
Miguel Calderón, Sofía Cordoba, Mads Lynnerup, George Kuchar, and Carlos Ruiz-Valarino.
Special Music Performance:
DJ Lengua a.k.a. Eamon Ore-Giron and Sonido Franko
About the Videos:
Miguel Calderon's Best Seller offers a reflection on the tropical paradise of Acapulco today, a product of close observation and conducted carefully, joined by images of tourists basking of covers of some of the books "best sellers" and fragments audio-books that addresses issues of related to tourism and class. Sofía Córdova most recent project Baby, Remember My Name, Córdova has created a series of music videos to accompany a concept album made under the pseudonym ChuCha Santamaría y Usted. These works draw from the conventions and pictorial language of mainstream music videos, while creating a narrative surrounding specific issues of the Caribbean diaspora and identity politics. ChuCha Santamaría y Usted is premiering their new video "Fanta". George Kuchar premiers his new Weather Diaries video, in which Kuchar observes weather and food from dreary motel rooms in Oklahoma, revealing alienation and loneliness in the rural American landscape that also resonates with unexpected poetry. Mads Lynnerup's artwork consistently responds to politics and everyday life, for Tropical he is screening his cunning video Hat, that was created in Havana as a performative street action that mirrors contemporary Cuban life.Valarino Ruiz-Valarino is one of the most well known conceptual photographers in Puerto Rico his work is influenced by constructed photography approach to image making. His 2010 video Generating Paradise offers an unexpected view of a Puerto Rican landscape, beautifully mixing tropical textures that lead into a hallucinatory static image and transforming the typical island image into a black hole.
About the Artists:
Miguel Calderón is a Mexican artist, filmmaker, and writer, he has worked in paint, photography, video and installations. Within his art practice Calderón attempts to explore contemporary Mexican culture from a globalized perspective and from a point of view that simultaneously underlines the intense dialogue with its canonical predecessors that characterizes it and the international landscape to which it also belongs. His work also been shown at Tamayo Contemporary Art Museum in Mexico City, Andrea Rosen Gallery in New York City, the Museum of Natural History in Mexico City, 2004 São Paulo Biennale, Queens Nails Annex, Guggenheim Museum, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia in Madrid, The P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center in New York City, Sharjah Biennale, Yerba Buena Center for The Arts, Yokahama Triennial and the 2006 Busan Biennale, and he had a film commissioned for the Freize Art Fair in London and Centre Pompidou in Paris.
George Kuchar is one of the legends of independent filmmaking. Beginning as a teenager in the 1950s with his twin brother Mike, Kuchar directed movies which upended Hollywood melodramas into small-scale epics, noted for their creative low-budget effects, over-the-top plots, eye-popping performances by their cast of friends, and titles like Sins of the Fleshapoids, Color Me Shameless and Lust for Ecstasy. Kuchar's classic film Hold Me While I'm Naked is beloved by several generations of fans and filmmakers, and was voted one of the 100 best films of the 20th century by the critics of the Village Voice. In the mid-1980s, Kuchar turned to video making, and created what is possibly the largest single collection (160) of video diaries. This ongoing chronicle of the artist's life is called "unique in film history" by the scholar Gene Youngblood. In Kuchar's video universe, nothing is safe from the camera expanding his oeuvre to exploiting his morbid interests and notorious insecurities with his token razor-sharp sense of humor in classics like The Mongreloid and The Weather Diaries.
Mads Lynnerup was born in Copenhagen, Denmark (1976) & lives in New York and Copenhagen. 2008 he graduated with an MFA from Columbia University, NY and has shown his work at SFMOMA; The Mori Art Museum, Tokyo; P.S. 1, NY; Zacheta National Gallery of Art, Warsaw; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, California. In 2008 he was rewarded a Toby Devan Lewis Fellowship, An Eureka Fellowship and Artadia Award (2005). Mads has had residencies at Socrates Sculpture Park and EMPAC, Troy, NY (2009), at the Headlands Center for the Arts and Stanford University, CA (2006). And his work has been reviewed in NY Times, Flash Art, ArtForum, Contemporary and Sculpture Magazine.
Born in 1985 in Carolina, Puerto Rico, Sofía Córdova received her BFA from St. John's University in Queens, NY in 2006, and her MFA from the California College of the Arts in San Francisco in 2010. She also completed the one-year certificate program at the International Center for Photography in New York in 2006. Currently, Córdova teaches at the California College of the Arts. Her work has been exhibited in California and New York.
Carlos Ruiz-Valarino was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico in 1967, where he currently resides. He studied at the Rochester Institute of Technology in New York. Work various media including photography and video. His work has been featured in publications such as Art Nexus, RD Magazine Arts and Art and Auction, among others. Her most recent shows include: The Trienal Poligr·áfica de San Juan, Museum of Contemporary Art, San Juan, PR, 27th International Biennial of Ljubljana, Slovenia, 9th Zemos 98Audio Visual Festival, Seville, Spain and the Biennale for Electronic Art Perth, Australia.
Eamon Ore-Giron is an artist and musician residing in Los Angeles. His artwork uses a range of media including paintings, video, sculpture, and printed media to make conceptual projects that address possible ways that sub-cultural phenomenon and music morphs and adapts as it moves between languages, cultures, and political systems. Ore-Giron is also one of the original colleagues of the so-called Mission School in San Francisco during the mid-1990's and is also the founding member of the experimental audio-performance group OJO. His music under the moniker DJ Lengua has gained global praise and success fusing Cumbia with electronic and abstract beats with two vinyl LP's released on Unicornio Records.His artwork, music and performances have been shown at Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, Deitch Projects, New York, UCLA Hammer Museum, Museo Tamayo Museum, Mexico City, Whitney Museum of Art, New York, Peres Projects, Los Angeles, Queens Nails Annex, San Francisco, Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art, Philadelphia, Los Angeles County Art Museum, Los Angeles, and Yerba Buena Center For The Arts, San Francisco.