mother tongue

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mother tongue, 2010 Mixed Media On Canvas 54 X 54 In © justine frischmann
Cover, 2010 Photography 20 X 24 In © Susanne Jaklin
mother tongue

2111 Mission Street
4th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94110
June 11th, 2010 - June 30th, 2010
Opening: June 11th, 2010 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Please call 415-314-0131 for information.
San Francisco Art Institute (SFAI)
photography, mixed-media, graffiti/street-art, conceptual, modern


Mother Tongue is a dual exhibit by artists Justine Frischmann and Susanne Jaklin.                 Through photography, painting and collage, these women examine 20th century erasures and exaggerations to heal the distorted legacies of their families. Justine Frischmann was born in England and Susanne Jaklin in Germany.

Please join us for drinks and snacks at the opening reception! June 11th, 6-9pm

Justine Frischmann is an artist and musician who has performed and exhibited in Europe, North America, Japan, and Australia. She wrote and performed with Elastica and, more recently, has written and produced for a number of artists including M.I.A. She has a degree in Architecture from University College London, has studied Contemplative Art at Naropa University, and Fine Art at the San Francisco Art Institute. Her work has been reviewed in many publications including the London Sunday Times (Art and Culture), the L.A. Times, and the London Telegraph. She was a presenter and writer on the “South Bank Show”, the U.K.’s oldest and most respected Arts program, and has presented programs on art, music, and architecture for BBC TV, BBC World TV (Arts), and BBC Radio 6. She has written about art and culture for magazines such as ID and The Face (UK), and was a judge for the Sterling Prize. She now lives and works in the Bay Area.


"In Mother Tongue, Frischmann employs the Low-Fi materials of a suburban hardware store to dig through the ash and rubble of Modernism. Her methodical self‐cancelling is depicted with vandalism, improvised geometrical methods, and defacements in masking tape and aerosol paint. An austere and unnatural color palette of black, white, neon green and salmon, alternately erases and reveals semi-navigable architectural plans and exploding constructions of never-to-be-built-buildings.


These psychic floor plans and gestural meditations seem to refer to her childhood home, her father’s fascination with the mathematics of sky-scrapers, and a family history erased by the Holocaust. By repeatedly summoning and then rejecting the values inherited from High and Post Modernism, Frischmann arrives at the image’s lack of integrity as suitable criteria for judging value or truth in our time. Her work reveals a basic mistrust of Materialism and celebrates impermanence with its use of non-archival materials and throw-away gestures. Falling, fading, copying, and stealing, challenge painting’s historical contract with authorship and permanence.


In their deliberate incompetence and casual “failure”, these works are like the boarded up shop windows and Gone-Out-of-Business signs all around us which very well might mark the point of entry to transcendence and divinity. The failures of reason that haunt the Modernist experiment can help us find our way to a humble logic of everyday beauty.


If the dumb and desperate graffiti of Frischmann’s paintings could speak, it might say,

Modernism Was Here and Consciousness Is Right Here, Right Now."                  ~ Marian St Laurent

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