Sunday, 26 August 2007


From September 5, 2007

Passengers is a permanent but constantly transforming exhibition of emerging international contemporary artists, none of whom have ever had a solo presentation in an American public art institution. For this exhibition the Wattis Institute’s upper gallery has been divided into two separate spaces, one of which features a group show of 11 artists, and the other a solo exhibition. At the end of each month, the solo artist will leave the exhibition completely, an artist from the group show will move into the solo space, and a new artist will be introduced into the group show. By September 2008 the group portion will have changed entirely from its original incarnation in September 2007.

As every month there will be a completely different solo show and a reconfigured group show, Passengers will present a new format for exhibition making—one that is self-perpetuating, constantly changing, and permanent. It is part of a shift in programming at the Wattis that attempts to rethink the traditional ways in which art institutions organize exhibitions—as static presentations lasting several weeks or months—and to reevaluate the ideas of time and transformation with respect to exhibition practice.

Passengers is specifically designed to allow emerging artists to enter the Wattis Institute program quickly, and the exhibition will adapt according to developments in contemporary art practice Its title is inspired by the way in which many artists and curators, working in a globalized world, pass through places and become witnesses of our time. Passengers now forms part of this journey, functioning as a vehicle by which artists can come to San Francisco. In this first year they will be visiting from countries as diverse as Portugal, Brazil, Slovakia, Germany, the United Kingdom, Canada, and Mexico as well as the United States—before moving on.

Passengers is also inspired by If On a Winter’s Night a Traveler, Italo Calvino’s 1979 novel of 10 interrelated stories that never get to the second chapter but all feature a central character called the Reader. This exhibition relates a similarly interweaving, open-ended narrative, which is, in this case, told by the curator/narrator to the visitor/reader, making explicit the act of exhibition making as well as that of exhibition viewing. With each month that passes, this open-ended narrative will evolve, develop, and expand.

The first 12 artists in order of appearance:

Daria Martin September 5–29, 2007
Alexandre da Cunha October 3–November 3, 2007
Ryan Gander November 7–December 1, 2007
Shana Lutker December 5, 2007–January 5, 2008
Tim Lee January 9–February 2, 2008
Annette Kelm February 6–March 1, 2008
João Maria Gusmão + Pedro Paiva March 5–29, 2008
Ulla von Brandenburg April 2–May 3, 2008
Gareth Moore May 7–31, 2008
Roman Ondák June 4–28, 2008
Valérie Mréjen July 2–August 2, 2008
Federico Herrero August 6–30, 2008

About the CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts
The Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts was established in 1998 in San Francisco at California College of the Arts. It serves as a forum for the presentation and discussion of international contemporary art and curatorial practice. Through groundbreaking exhibitions, the Capp Street Project residency program, lectures, symposia, and publications, the Wattis Institute has become one of the leading art institutions in the United States and provides an active site for contemporary culture in the Bay Area.

Founding support for CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts programs has been provided by Phyllis C. Wattis and Judy and Bill Timken. Generous support provided by the Phyllis C. Wattis Foundation, Grants for the Arts / San Francisco Hotel Tax Fund, Ann Hatch and Paul Discoe, and the CCA Curator’s Forum.

CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts
Kent and Vicki Logan Galleries
California College of the Arts
1111 Eighth Street
San Francisco, California 94107
T: 415 551 9210

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