It’s All A Blur, Dec 9—Jan 28

Warrior Gringostroika

Exhibition: It’s All A Blur
Opening reception: Thursday, December 9, 2010, 6:00 pm—9:00 pm
Corpo/Ilicito performance extravaganza featuring La Pocha Nostra:
Saturday January 15, 2011, 8:00—10:00 pm, $10 advance tickets, $12 at door, tickets available at
Closing reception: January 28, 2011, 6:00—8:00 pm
Exhibition dates: December 9, 2010—January 28, 2011
Gallery closed: December 24, 2010—January 3, 2011
Gallery hours: Tuesday—Friday 12:00—7:00 pm, Saturday 12:00—5:00 pm

Performers and audience interact with Tony Labat’s Batman Wall Walking.

ArtSpeak: Interactive Audio Commentary uploads gallerygoer comments instantly to the world wide web.

San Francisco, CA, October 20, 2010 – An endless train carries desert camouflaged heavy artillery through an unknown landscape. A shooting range target calls into question the form of fear and liberty in American popular culture. Performers use their bodies as a site for radical spirituality, memory, penance, activism, stylized anger and corporeal reinvention. Everyone gets the chance to be Batman.

SOMArts Cultural Center presents It’s All A Blur, a major touring exhibition about levels of empowerment and enfranchisement in the American West and the current status of the American Dream. This exhibition, conceived by SOMArts curator and gallery director Justin Hoover, will premiere at the SOMArts Main Gallery before traveling to the Contemporary Art Center Las Vegas, the Sierra Arts Foundation in Reno, Nevada, and the Feldman Gallery at the Pacific Northwest College of Art, where it will appear in conjunction with the Portland Institute of Contemporary Art’s Time‐Based Art Festival, 2011. This project received core funding from WESTAF, the Western States Arts Federation, as well as support from the California Arts Council; and the National Endowment for the Arts.

SOMArts Executive Director Lex Leifheit commented, “It’s All A Blur highlights local masters who have pioneered an intellectual, multifaceted approach to identity and art as means for social justice in the post‐Bush era. By creating work for a community whose spiritual, political, cultural and economic realities are in constant flux, they offer hope and provide the possibility of greater empathy.”

It’s All A Blur focuses on three local masters, Guillermo Gómez‐Peña, Dale Hoyt and Tony Labat. Additional collaborators include David LawrenceSteve Thurston, and the international performance troupe La Pocha Nostra featuring core members Michelle Ceballos (Phoenix/Bogota), Guillermo Galindo (San Francisco/Mexico city), Guillermo Gómez‐Peña (San Francisco/Mexico City), Roberto Sifuentes (Chicago) and associates Dani d’Emilia (Brazil), EJ Hill (Chicago), Saul Garcia Lopez (Toronto/Mexico City), Erica Mott (Chicago). Natalie Brewster Nguyen (Tucson), and John Zibell (Davis/NYC).

Other artworks on display include a retrospective look at key videos by Hoyt, including Clinic, Transgenic Hairshirt and Don’t Be Cruel, as well as a significant collection of the Kitten Kollaboration drawings by Hoyt and Thurston dating from 1970 to the present. Labat’s new work includes Blanket Policy (1988), a never‐before‐seen large‐scale sculptural tent made from paintings purchased at Goodwill, and Leisure (2000), a twelve foot tall custom‐made barbecue. In the SOMArts Video Annex, Guillermo Gómez‐Peña presents a newly commissioned tryptich displayed as a three channel video installation with sound.

Curator Justin Hoover commented, “It’s All A Blur” is simultaneously a local and a global exhibition. It deals with multiple languages and multiple cultures. The featured artists have a global perspective and influence, yet their work is infused with a local Bay Area ethos. This is a rare chance to share with the world how local San Francisco artists have informed and shaped artwork the world over.”

To help amplify and empower the voice of the audience, SOMArts will launch ArtSpeak: Interactive Audio Commentary concurrent with “It’s All A Blur.” Through ArtSpeak, visitors to the gallery are invited to think about and articulate their experience and interpretation of the exhibition, through a series of recordings that are instantly uploaded to The fully‐automated ArtSpeak recording booth will be available to visitors at all times during regular gallery hours.

Public events during the exhibition will include an artist‐led trip to a local firing range, where Tony Labat will complete a new work that explores iconographies of fear and liberty in contemporary American Culture, using mass‐produced paper shooting targets. On January 15 at 8pm, Guillermo Gómez‐Peña with La Pocha Nostra will perform Corpo/Ilicito: The Posthuman Society 6.9. La Pocha Nostra will also speak at San Francisco Performance Art Institute (date TBD). The closing reception on January 28 will feature a reading by Dale Hoyt, coupled with video projections by artistic collaborator David Lawrence.

Public events have limited space and tickets will be available for purchase on the SOMArts website, SOMArts events take place in the SOMArts Cultural Center Main Gallery unless otherwise advertised.

SOMArts is located at 934 Brannan St, San Francisco, CA 94103 Enter down long driveway. Street parking is available; flat rate parking is accessible at Brannan & 8th St. SOMArts is within two blocks of Muni lines 12, 19, 27 and 47.

Insurrection, Connection and Community through the Arts

SOMArts (South of Market Arts, Resources, Technology, and Services) was founded in1979 and operates the South of Market Cultural Center, one of four city‐owned cultural facilities in San Francisco. SOMArts supports exhibitions, performances, classes and other collaborations that serve its mission: to promote and nurture art on the community level and foster an appreciation of and respect for all cultures.

SOMArts programming is supported by the San Francisco Arts Commission’s Community Arts and Education Program, with funding from Grants for the Arts/San Francisco Hotel Tax Fund.

Image credit: Warrior Gringostroika by Guillermo Gómez-Peña

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