Performing Community

What: Performing Community

When: July 6–July 28, 2012

Where: 934 Brannan St. (between 8th & 9th)

How Much: Free admission

How is community built and practiced? In Performing Community, curators Laura Poppiti and Kara Q. Smith connect artists with audiences to explore and inform community building and creative placemaking in SOMA, San Francisco’s South of Market neighborhood, July 6–July 28. The curators were selected for one of four Commons Curatorial Residencies taking place at SOMArts Cultural Center in 2011–12.

Exhibiting artists Susan Greene, Marlon Sagana Ingram (MSI), Kitsch House, Mobile Arts Platform (MAP) and Network of Daily Experience (NODE) will activate SOMA’s communities through pre-partying, street healing, and interactive installations which educate and engage gallery visitors by presenting various histories of SOMA and allowing for community contributions to these ever-developing narratives.

Poppiti and Smith commented, “For San Franciscans, SOMA is known as a neighborhood that eschews simple characterization and rightfully so, as a community can never be encapsulated in a few easy descriptors. The projects in this exhibition recognize the complexity of community, delving into communal particularities such as SOMA’s nightlife culture, transient populations and music history, the performances and collaborations of which contribute but a few parts to the sum of SOMA’s ethos.”

On four evenings—July 6, 12, 19 and 26—Pete Hickok and Jeffrey Augustine Songco (Kitsch House) will create a performance space in the gallery dedicated to the party before the party. Immersed in dance music, mirrors, mood lighting, costume and libations, “Pre-Party” invites the public to prepare for their inclusion within SOMA’s nightlife community while simultaneously creating their own micro-community through the act of getting ready together and going out as a group to clubs in SOMA.  =

Leading up to the exhibition, MSI will facilitate street-healing workshops at Episcopal Community Services of San Francisco where he will collaboratively create posters with their clients that address the issue of homelessness. Posters from “The People Project” will be displayed as part of the exhibition and installed in public spaces throughout SOMA.

MAP collaborators Peter Foucault and Chris Treggiari present “Soundscape SOMA,” a multifaceted exploration of SOMA’s music scene. In addition to The Free Music Project,” an interactive social sculpture which will be installed in the gallery throughout the exhibition, MAP presents a documentary that illustrates the history and evolution of the neighborhood’s music community as well as video documentation of the San Francisco Rock Project, a SOMA based nonprofit dedicated to providing musical education to young musicians.

Youth from the San Francisco Rock Project will perform at 7pm during the opening reception for Performing Community, Friday, July 6, 6–9pm.

NODE, a collaboration between Emily Dippo and Kim Cook offer “Archive SOMA: Chronicling Community,” a project which combines materials collected from the SOMA community with archival research and invites contribution from gallery visitors. NODE facilitates a Community Archive Workshop, Saturday, July 14, 1–3pm, in which attendees can contribute to the architecture of the archive, learn about its creation and dialog with the artists and with other community members.

Painting during publicly posted gallery hours, iconic Bay Area muralist Susan Greene will complete a new mural for her “Bending Over Backwards” (BOB) series, which depicts trapeze artists in an electrifying peak moment of their craft—when their success is possible only with great coordination, tenacity, community, dedication, conviction and strength. The mural will later be installed in a public location in SOMA.

Dunes, Trains, and Beer: The Buried History of SOMA, a walking tour facilitated by Greene and Shaping San Francisco, connects the sentiments depicted in Greene’s mural with the survival skills utilized by SOMA residents past and present. The walking tour departs as a group from SOMArts, Saturday, July 21, 1–3pm.

Accompanying events:

Opening Reception
Friday, July 6, 6–9pm
Featuring a 7pm performance by SF Rock Project and an exhibition introduction by curators Kara Q. Smith and Laura Poppiti.

Pre-Party with Kitsch House
Friday, July 6, 5–6pm
Thursday, July 12, 6–8pm*
Thursday, July 19, 6–8pm*
Thursday, July 26, 5–7pm
*These pre-parties begin at SOMArts and continue with a neighborhood bar hop. Must be 21+ to party.

Community Archive Workshop with NODE
Saturday, July 14, 1–3pm

Dunes, Trains, and Beer: The Buried History of SOMA
Saturday, July 21, 1–3pm
Walking tour with Susan Greene & Shaping San Francisco begins at SOMArts.

Closing Reception
Thursday, July 26, 7–9pm