The San Francisco Museum Modern Art and Gap, Inc.

CIO has been informed that the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) has commissioned the guerrilla art group Together We Can Defeat Capitalism  (TWCDC) to paint a giant mural on the exterior wall of the future museum extension. The extension is being constructed to house the art collection of Fisher family, founders of the GAP clothing empire. It is scheduled to open in 2016.

TWCDC’s design for the mural is quite simple: it is the GAP logo itself. In a brilliant conceptual twist the mural both honors GAP and the Fisher family, and at the same time presents a stunning critique of the role of wealth and privilege in the art world. Collaborations between arts organizations and corporations are nothing new of course. For some time SFMOMA has openly courted such partnerships and its website proudly declares that “recent research indicates that corporate philanthropy yields returns of 200 to 300 percent.” Existing sponsors include Wells Fargo, Google, and of course the GAP. It is illuminating to learn that the museum sees itself as an engine for the creation of capital.

The piece is in the the tradition of Warhol’s simple re-presentation of popular brand names such as Campbell’s soup. Warhol’s works were displayed in museums, as a statement about the conflation of advertising and art. The TWCDC piece cloaks the museum itself in a statement about the conflation of fine art and corporate capitalism.

Artist's Impression of TWCDC's mural on the wall of the future SFMOMA extension

The museum must be complimented on allowing such a statement to be made. Or, is it a savvy move by the museum, knowing that the best way to deflate a critique is to embrace it? A critic with with close ties to the the museum, speaking on condition of anonymity, stated that the public would most likely see the GAP mural as pure advertising and without any artistic merit.

A TWCDC spokesperson explained that the term “gap” also references the gap between the old SFMOMA and the new, between the incomes of the rich and the rest of us, between institutional art and the art of the street, between oppressor and oppressed.

In a nod to Matthew Barney, the mural will be painted by a single TWCDC member rappelling from the roof of the new extension. A TWCDC spokesman estimated the mural would take over a year to paint and should be considered a performance to be viewed by museum attendees and spectators in the vicinity of the museum. The method of execution also hints at that other great icon of the USA, Mount Rushmore. Painting of the mural is scheduled to start immediately after completion of the new extension.

SFMOMA and GAP are also collaborating with several local artists on the design and production of custom-designed t-shirts. In a similar conceptual judo throw to the mural, TWCDCs t-shirts will be adorned simply with a silkscreened GAP logo. The t-shirts will be sold through the SFMOMA gift shop. Similar versions of the GAP logo shirt will be available at GAP stores for a fraction of the price.

TWCDC’s previous exhibition at SFMOMA, ingeniously titled Together We Can Defeat Capitalism consisted simply of posters and postcards with Botta’s graphic image of the museum and the bold caption: TOGETHER WE CAN DEFEAT CAPITALISM, harking back nostalgically to an era when art was involved in fomenting real social change. TWCDC also parked an electronic traffic sign outside of SFMOMA and delivered a pertinent warning.

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Google Will Find You

This is along the lines of what I’ve been thinking about recently. And it will not be long……

http://youtu.be/MoyuGDUdoB0

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The San Francisco Dream House Raffle 2013

Through its “Dream House Raffle” http://www.sfraffle.com/. Yerba Buena Center for the Arts extracts capital from the red hot property market in San Francisco to finance its art programs. Prizes in the raffle include the multi-million dollar “Dream House” and a slough of other luxury prizes, including luxury cars, luxury vacations, and jewelry, and other capitalist trinkets. The raffle’s web site has the “look and feel” of a shopping channel site or a seedy internet scam. (Full disclosure: I am an artist who does not own property in San Francisco and has purchased raffle tickets in previous years.) The “Dream House Raffle” has run for the last five years.

SF Raffle Dream House

"Dream House" Raffle billboard, Bernal Heights, San Francisco, March, 2013

The irony is that this avowed supporter of the local arts is profiting from the red hot property and rental market that has driven many artists out of town. In addition YBCA’s celebration of exclusive, expensive luxury goods, absent of any balancing position on the housing situation in San Francisco and the Bay Area, brings into question its claim to represent of a cross-section of diversity in the City.

The high property values have been fueled primarily by the booming tech sector that is threatening to turn San Francisco into a playground for the young rich technocrati and their heavily pampered dogs [there are more dogs San Francisco than children].  In it’s “Dream House Raffle” the nightmare hypocrisy of this so-called liberal city is brought into sharp focus.

Advertisements for the “Dream House” are cropping up all over San Francisco – on billboards, on buses and bus shelters, and in BART stations. Along the platform at Powell Street station a long line of Dream House billboard advertisements disappears into the distance. Strangely, none of these ads mention YBCA as if, indeed, there is something embarrassing about the enterprise.

Dream House advertisements at Powell Street Station, San Francisco, April 2013

"Dream House" advertisements at Powell Street Station, San Francisco, April 2013

In its advertising, YBCA gives the general location of the “Dream House” but the address is a closely guarded secret. This year, the house is in Pacific Heights. After two hours using Google Maps with Street View, combined with pictures of the house itself and the views from it as shown on the raffle web site, I found it at 2508  Green Street.

The "Dream House" at 2508 Green Street, San Francisco

Some artists and activists are attempting to raise awareness of the contradictions surrounding the raffle. In January of this year, a group called “Occupy the Dream House” staged a demonstration at the 2012 Dream House in Menlo Park.

The drawing for the main prize is is scheduled for June 21, 2013 when the lucky winner of the “Dream House” will be announced and they will join the rich property owners on top of the hill.

Graffiti on the Bernal Heights "Dream House" Raffle billboard, April 2013

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URBAN PROTOTYPING

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Forensic Accounting!

Money Masters
Created by: www.ForensicAccounting.net

Posted in art, ARTISTS/ACTIONS, CAPITALISM, CAPITALISM IS OVER!, CORPORATE BRUTALITY, DEMOCRACY, EVIL CORPORATIONS, FASCISM, FORENSIC ACCOUNTING, GOVERNMENT, GREED, HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES, INCOME INEQUALITY, OCCUPY ALL STREETS!, OCCUPY THE WORLD!, OCCUPY!, TAX THE RICH, THE 99% | Leave a comment

GENERATION FOOD PROJECT

Please Help Support this Important Project of Raj Patel and Steve James!!! Only 5 days left to reach the goal!!! Click HERE to support! Thank you!!

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Claire Fontaine!

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We Are The 99%!


Megan Wilson’s Installation at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts’ Occupy Exhibition – from her project 99%.

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Google Bus Line and Homeless Guy

There was a homeless guy face down on the sidewalk right next to the Google bus line on 24th Street. Everybody was just walking past him or ignoring him as they peered into their smart phones. I walked past too but turned around and went back. I tapped him on the shoulder, “Man, are you OK?” He looked up and grunted. He seemed alright. Perhaps I should have done more, called somebody, but who? but feeling too tied up with my own problems. The Google line; the collapsed homeless guy – could there be a more poignant portrait of our times?

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OCCUPY BAY AREA!

Occupy Bay Area

Yerba Buena Center for the Arts
701 Mission Street
San Francisco, CA 94103

July 7 – October 14, 2012

Opening: Occupy Bay Area Night 
Jul 7, 2012 6:00pm
Grand Lobby $5 general admission/ FREE for YBCA members 

Since its inception in September 2011, the Occupy Movement has generated both praise and condemnation. A direct response to the financial instability, subprime mortgage crisis and the decline of trust in the government’s ability to effectively address the problems in the labor market, it continues to resonate in the American consciousness. In response to the significant output of art and documentation produced in support of the Occupy Movement in Oakland and San Francisco, YBCA has put together an exhibition of works that have proven to be particularly effective in supporting the goals and aspirations of the Movement. Impressively, various political poster artists devoted their talents to messaging the politics and culture of the movement by creating iconic images — designs that were a call to action, or posters announcing an upcoming event. In many ways these works, by twenty-five Bay Area artists, carry forward the region’s long tradition as a leader in political struggles, from the Free Speech Movement of the 1960s, to struggles by communities of color in the 1970s, to AIDS activism in the 1980s. The exhibition also includes a selection of photojournalistic and documentary photography and video that serve as a record of the events around the Occupy Movement.

Additionally, to connect to earlier movements and provide a historical context for the project, the exhibition includes posters and photographs from other political struggles, including the Black Panther Party, I-Hotel in Manilatown (1968–77); the ARC/AIDS Vigil at City Hall (1985–95); the Occupation of Alcatraz (1969–71); the Free Speech Movement at UC Berkeley (1964–65); and the San Francisco State University protests, to gain an Ethnic Studies program and Black Student Union demands (1968–69).While these earlier movements certainly differ in ways from Occupy, they all are the result of a deep desire for marginalized peoples to be represented and treated fairly.

This exhibition is not meant to represent a fully executed social history, but is a testament of the power of images to evoke the emotional expression of popular and wide-spread sentiments. By localizing our efforts, we also pay special tribute to the role that Bay Area artists have played in giving voice to the 99% and utilizing art as an effective vehicle for social change.

Poster artists: Rich Black, Zerena Diaz, Cannon Dill, Digniad Rebelde (Melanie Cervantes and Jesus Barraza), Eric Drooker, Alexandra Fisher, Dave Garcia, Ronnie Goodman, Jason Justice, Gabby Miller and Miriam Klein Stahl, Nuclear Winter Art, Occupy Design, Political Gridlock (Jon-Paul Bail), Cristy C. Road, Faviana Rodriguez, Chris Shaw, Colin Smith, Winston Smith, Chuck Sperry, Xavier Veramontes, Gregoirire Vion, Fred Zaw, Anonymous artists

Aligned artists: Sergio de la Torre, Kota Ezawa, Eric Drooker, Megan Wilson, Suzanne Lacy, Sanaz Mazinani

Artists of historical posters & photographs: Robert Bechtle, Emory Douglas, Rupert Garcia, Ilka Hartmann, Steven Marcus, “Indian Joe” Morris, Rachael Romero, Sheila Tully, Anonymous artists

Photojournalism and video artists: Li Chen Ewen Wright

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