The Prosthetic Temple and An Archaeology of Architecture

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The Prosthetic Temple, 2010 Wood © Richard Berger
The Prosthetic Temple and An Archaeology of Architecture

535 Powell Street
San Francisco, CA 94108
February 19th, 2011 - May 5th, 2011
Opening: February 19th, 2011 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Union Square/Civic Center
Tue-Sat 11-5
photography, mixed-media, conceptual, modern, traditional, sculpture


Meridian Gallery opens two concurrent exhibitions which will occupy the three floors of the historic building. The lower two floors will feature new work by sculptor Richard Berger. In the early 1960s Berger was given a book of images of the Sun Temple at Konarak on the eastern coast of India in Orissa, sparking a lifelong obsession that culminated in his visit there in 2001. Since then, he has created two large-scale models of the temple. Berger’s scale models represent, after many years of research, a kind-of reenactment o the portions of the largely ruined temple, particularly the tower that was destroyed centuries ago. These analyses inform Berger’s constructions—montages of kinetic sulpture and drawing—examining the temple as a cultural and societal prosthetic to complete “what’s not there.”

On the third floor, Meridian is pleased to welcome back Dennis Tedlock, who last spoke at Meridian in January 2010 to celebrate the publication of his book, 2000 Years of Mayan Literature (UC Press). As a photographer who refuses to be wordless and a writer who refuses to be imageless, Dennis Tedlock practices photowriting; a balance in which images are more than illustrations and texts are more than captions. In this series of architectural photographs taken in England, the Netherlands, Denmark, Greece, Guatemala, New York, the District of Columbia, Louisiana, Kansas, New Mexico, and California, Tedlock explores his discovery that all buildings, new or old, give their stories away along a road that leads from construction through occupation to abandonment.

Richard Berger is associate professor and former chair of the Sculpture department at the San Francisco Art Institute, where he has taught since 1970. His work is featured in the permanent collections of the Oakland Museum of California, the Contemporary Museum in Honolulu, and the Monterey Peninsula Museum. Berger has received a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship and is the 45th recipient of the SFAI Adaline Kent Award, which included an exhibition, The Third Time I Saw Phyllis She Exploded, the Walter and McBean Gallery in 2004.

Dennis Tedlock is Distinguished Professor, McNulty Chair in the Poetics Program, Research Professor of Anthropology at the State University of New York at Buffalo. Tedlock is one of the foremost scholars on indigenous languages, verbal arts, writing systems, and religions of the Western Hemisphere. He has published many books and articles that are now classics in the field, including his translation of the Popol Vuh and recently 2000 Years of Mayan Literature from UC Press.