Visions Into Infinite Archives, a group exhibition curated by Black Salt Collective, honors the non-linearity of time and creates an interactive and infinite archive of universal depths. The exhibition not only imagines a future that challenges dominant histories and present moments of cyclical and institutional oppression, it births a universe where ancestral dreams and the hopes of descendants live and interact— a universe with alternative futures and alternative pasts, where oracles become realities, where histories are honored and where healing can take place.
On view with accompanying public programming January 14 to February 10, 2016, Visions Into Infinite Archives features artwork in many media from 30 artists of color contributing to an archive that defies a Western, anthropological approach to recording and sharing histories and trajectories of cultural experience. In addition to murals, light installation, textile and sculptural work by the collective, Black Salt Collective curates performances, ritualistic expressions and film screenings to ensure the collaborative archive remains in constant dialog and flux.
“Comprised of objects, bodies, conversations, and multimedia artworks, this universe is in constant dialogue and flux,” said the Black Salt Collective, “Negating the pretense of an archive that distorts and fractures the relationship between living culture, object and community our archive supersedes these binds through complex and interdependent narratives held within and beyond us. Visions into Infinite Archives manifests the dynamic capacity of a boundless and liminal archive.”
Opening with a free public reception on Thursday, January 14, 6pm to 9pm, Visions Into Infinite Archives is the second of three SOMArts Commons Curatorial Residency exhibitions in the 2015–16 season. Oakland and Los Angeles based Black Salt Collective utilizes the residency opportunity to mount their first large-scale exhibition, featuring the work of collective members Sarah Biscarra Dilley, Grace Rosario Perkins, Anna Luisa Petrisko and Adee Roberson, as well as additional artists selected by the collective.
“Protection from Unuttered Greed,” Indira Allegra’s textile intervention for navigating civic meetings, business meetings, art functions and dates, features the weaving of hand-dyed linen, bamboo and cotton as well as abalone as an alternate mode of documentation.
In the multi-channel video installation “Gallup Motel Butchering,” artist collective Postcommodity offers a gritty hyper-real depiction of a butchering, revealing how a traditional act of cultural self-determination can appear violent and disorienting within the context of a “non-place” and pose a poetic, metaphorical transgression against the assumptions of the Western imagination.
Through multi-media installation and an oral storytelling performance that will take place at the opening on Thursday, January 14, Jeepneys and some times [sic] present “Let Me Be The One: A History of a Decolonized Service.” The artwork features video documentation as well as sculptural elements and costumes from a 2015 performance titled “a Jeepneys video shoot // some times a set” in which performers were invited to dance, play, bartend and enact other forms of labor for and with an audience, resulting in a shift of the context and structure of service and labor. “Let Me Be The One: A History of a Decolonized Service,” is an archive within Visions Into Infinite Archives that serves as a platform–– metaphorically, as well as literally–– to engage with other artworks in the show. The sculptures also act as plinths for other artists’ works.
Thursday, January 14, 6–9pm
Featuring performances from Chochenyo activist and poet Vince Medina, Hermano Milagroso and Jeepneys + some times in direct dialogue with the exhibition and its themes, the unveiling activates a monthlong journey into the archive. With live documentation of the performances and event itself, the archive continues to expand in each moment.
Saturday, January 30, 12–4pm
Spanning genre and form, these personal and often humorous films by an intergenerational mix of Black, Brown, and indigenous filmmakers engage in sensory observations about mythology, emotionality, visibility, spirituality and cultural preservation and loss. The program concludes with the 1995 feature length experimental documentary Bontoc Eulogy, in which director Marlon Fuentes memorializes the 1,100 Filipino tribal natives brought to the U.S. to be a “living exhibit” at the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair. A full schedule and brief descriptions of the films are available online at somarts.org/infinitescreenings.
Closing Ceremony & Reception
Thursday, February 4, 6–9pm
Join the artists and curators for ceremony and celebration with drinks and musical delights. Featuring live sets by special guest musician Ryan Dennison (Deadrezkids, Fort Wingate, NM), as well as Tropic Green (Adee Roberson), plus an all-vinyl DJ set by Bay Area favorite Brown Amy (Hard French, Natural High), the closing ceremony and reception is the final chance to add your presence to the archive.
The exhibition and all related events are free to attend and take place at SOMArts Cultural Center, 934 Brannan St. (between 8th & 9th Streets), San Francisco, CA, 94103, unless otherwise noted. SOMArts is wheelchair/ADA accessible.
ARTISTS, FILMMAKERS & PERFORMERS
Sarah Biscarra Dilley
DJ Brown Amy
Marlon E. Fuentes
Jose Luis Iniguez
Jeepneys + some times
Grace Rosario Perkins
Images top to bottom: still from “The Initiation,” courtesy of the artists Black Salt Collective; “Protection from Unuttered Greed,” courtesy of the artist Indira Allegra; still from “Gallup Motel Butchering,” courtesy of the artist collective Postcommodity; “Let Me Be The One: A History of a Decolonized Service,” Jeepneys + some times, photo by Nastya Valentine