Making a Scene

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© Courtesy of the Artist and Southern Exposure
Making a Scene

3030 20th Street
94110 San Francisco
October 5th, 2012 - October 27th, 2012
Opening: October 24th, 2012 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Tue-Sat 12-6


*Artists’ Receptions:
Wednesdays, October 10, 17, & 24, 2012, 6:00 – 9:00 pm


Throughout the month of October, Torreya Cummings, Bessma Khalaf, and the Center for Tactical Magic take up residency at Southern Exposure to develop new projects on site. Each of these artists plays with the mundane and the magical in transformative or risky experiments that provoke their viewers, often in humorous ways. During their three-week residency, the artists invite participation as they develop new bodies of work and build on installations in process. Three writers have been selected to respond to the artists’ unfolding work. Southern Exposure will publish and distribute these essays to reflect on the projects after they close.


Torreya Cummings creates a portrait studio inspired by daguerreotype portraiture of the 19th century for her project, Strange Familiars (or Non-Daguerreian Anti-Portrait Studio for Local Types). Participants can make an appointment for a sitting with Cummings, who works closely with them to develop a new and fantastic hybrid identity. In the resulting photographs, the subject is transformed through character tropes found in Western movies as well as contemporary San Francisco culture and subcultures.


Bessma Khalaf creates eerie tableaux and photographs using magical symbols, candles, and mundane objects. For Invisible Thief, she uses these charged objects to shoot a new series of photographs with the participation of viewers and visitors, who are invited to become a part of her installation as they enter the space.


For Bank Heist Contest, Aaron Gach of The Center for Tactical Magic invites the public to imagine the possibility of a successful bank heist. $1000 will be given as a reward to the best proposal. The contest is ongoing throughout the course of the project, during which the artist will lead participants in workshops, presentations, and films to provide inspiration for their developing proposals. This ongoing project will conclude in 2013 with an award ceremony for the winner of the Bank Heist Contest.


Because visitor engagement is critical to each of the artists’ projects, Southern Exposure has scheduled specific hours to encourage interaction and participation. Every Wednesday from 6 to 9 pm and Saturday from 12 to 6pm, all three artists will be at Southern Exposure, and viewers can work with them to schedule portraits, develop heist proposals, or engage with their installations and photographs. Wednesday evenings are also receptions in celebration of the artists. In addition to these specified times, SoEx will be open Wednesday, 3:00 – 9:00 and Thursday – Saturday, 12:00 – 6:00 pm, and artists can be found working in Southern Exposure’s space at various times throughout the project.