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 2:
Facundo Argañaraz, Sofía Cordoba, George Kuchar, Eamon Ore-Giron (DJ Lengua),
Tim Sullivan and Chris Corrente, Jason Mena, Haden Nicholl and Jenifer K Wofford
Special Music Performance:
Juan Luna-Avin and Josh Pieper on Opening Reception, Sat Aug 13
ChuCha Santamaría y Usted on Closing Reception, Sat Sep 3
About the Work:
Facundo Argañaraz focuses on works on paper and paintings including, Zodiac and Grid Room that utilize anachronistic elements and discarded images not for their nostalgic value but as remains of 20th century utopias on the act of making. Mostly comprised of found photographs, photocopies, and pages from vintage books depicting modern designs and/or environments, Argañaraz's imagery as a mark-making tool, already packed and charged with pictorial formal elements. The core forms serve only to organize visual fields into dynamic, constructed compositions that hold a structural relation to the surface they organize. 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 have created a site-specific installation based on the recording of their new vinyl record.
Eamon Ore-Giron (DJ Lengua) presents an listening station that focuses on his amazing new vinyl record release, Cruzando that combines infectious mix of cumbia, electronic and break beats that explodes boundaries between culture and music. 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.
What is Art? LIVE! Is San Francisco's premiere art-themed television program hosted by Tim Sullivan and Chris Corrente featuring a regular gang of random misfits. For SF Tropical, The What is Art? LIVE! Gang invites you to join them on their summer vacation island tour! This episode will feature live guests, as well as, foreign correspondents covering the global art scene including: Jenalee Harmon covering culture night in Reykjavík, Iceland, Laura Kim interviewing resident artists at the National museum of contemporary art in Seoul. Jason Mena's Looking Up (2008) took place over the Bacardi Artisan Fair during the peak hour of the event when a plane displaying a banner with the message Todo es mentira (It's all lies) flew over the Bacardi Rum distillery located in Cataño, Puerto Rico. The flight lasted approximately 30 minutes over a crowd surpassing 17,000 people. The outcome of the project is a series of postcards that will also function as a limited edition take away during the run of the exhibition. Haden Nicholl is presenting a series of drawings and paintings that juxtaposes elements of beauty and danger in nature. The tropical sunset is chosen for it's resplendent color and sublime magnificence, while the element of peril is present in the form of a variety of insect vectors that are the causes of an array of painful and deadly tropical diseases. Jenifer Wofford is showcasing a set of beautiful drawings and paintings based on the tropical fruit, Durian famous for "smells like shit, but tastes like heaven" bad reputation. The green fruit-like geometric forms of stylized durians (Southeast Asian fruits known for their spiky exterior, fleshy interior, and perversely pungent aroma). Function as a sort of vas hermeticum: a sealed form suggesting an overseas contract worker's tropical roots, his/her conspicuity in an institutionalized, homogenized environment, a vessel for containment and transference, and a sort of ominous self-protection.
About the Artists:
Facundo Argañaraz was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He studied illustration and painting from a very young age and later earned a degree in Law and Political Science from the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina. After traveling worldwide for more than two and a half years without a pause, he moved to California to pursue a career as a painter and visual artist. He has exhibited nationally and internationally including recent exhibitions at Queen's Nails Projects, San Francisco; Untitled Pop Up Gallery, Buenos Aires; David Cunningham Projects, San Francisco; The LAB, San Francisco; MCCLA, San Francisco.
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.
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.
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.
Jason Mena was born in New York City and raised in Puerto Rico. His work entails a multi-faceted approach to contemporaneity that, drawn from conceptualism and minimalism, reveals the complexities and contradictions of art and society, leading to a profound criticism of the constant simulation of culture, the speed of urbanization and the untimely decay of our social and political climate. He has a B.A. from Escuela de Artes Plasticas de San Juan (Puerto Rico). He had shown his work in Puerto Rico, Spain, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Mexico, among other places.
Haden Nicholl is a Colorado born, San Francisco based artist. He has a B.A. in psychology with an anthropology minor, as well as a B.F.A. from the University of Denver. He also earned an M.F.A. from the San Francisco Art Institute. His work conceptually deals with psycho/social interactions, coping mechanisms and the relationship between sociology and nature. His art practice draws a great deal of inspiration from firsthand experience working as a counselor in a psychiatric facility for adolescents at San Francisco General Hospital.
What is Art? LIVE!
Tim Sullivan is a multimedia artist working in video, photography, performance and installation. Sullivan has spent the last five years completing a series of works exploring the myths and stereotypes of California as informed by television, film, music and literature. He has had solo exhibitions in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Singapore, Ireland and Poland as well as being featured in numerous group exhibitions including the 2006 California Biennial. Chris Corrente is an interdisciplinary artist working across the mediums of video, performance, staged photography, and music. A graduate of the San Francisco Art Institute new genre's program, his work runs the gamut of human emotions and experiences, ranging from aggressively dark and psychologically challenging, to absurdist and piss-laugh funny.
Jenifer K Wofford is a Filipina-American artist and educator based in the San Francisco Bay Area. She was born in San Francisco and raised in Hong Kong, the United Arab Emirates, and Malaysia. She received her BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute, and her MFA from UC Berkeley. Her work has been exhibited in the Bay Area at the Berkeley Art Museum, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Southern Exposure, Richmond Art Center, and Kearny Street Workshop, nationally at New Image Art (Los Angeles), Nora Eccles Harrison Museum (Salt Lake City), thirtynine hotel (Honolulu), and internationally at Future Prospects (Philippines), Galerie Blanche (France), and Osage Gallery Kwun Tong (Hong Kong).