Refuge in Refuse Opening Event

15085824264_2c49184b2f_z (1) The opening event for a new exhibition Refuge in Refuse: Homesteading Art & Culture Project features three film screenings, informal chats with former Albany bulb residents, participating artists, and other experts about the Bulb, and curbside tours of the LavaMae bus, a project of the Tides Center that provides mobile showers for the homeless in re-purposed San Francisco Municipal Railway (MUNI) buses. Andy Kreamer, a former resident of the Bulb & co-creator of the film Where Do You Go When It Rains? will speak about the community of the Bulb.

About Refuge in Refuse: Homesteading Art & Culture Project:
For more than two decades artists, recreationalists, and the homeless have shared the Albany Bulb, a decommissioned landfill peninsula located along the east shore of the San Francisco Bay, creating infrastructure and exploring borders between public and private urban space. The group exhibition Refuge in Refuse: Homesteading Art & Culture Project includes audio stories, video, photography, painting, sculpture, interventions, and 3D scans reflecting the intersections of architecture, art, ecology and community at the Bulb. Read more… 

About the evening’s films: 
Feature length film documentaries created about the Albany Bulb will be played on BAVC’s SF Commons Public Access TV (Comcast 76, Astound 30 & streamed online). The films will be screened at 6pm, 7pm & 8pm during the exhibition opening, and will play in a loop on monitors in SOMArts gallery space while Refuge in Refuse is on view.

6–7pm: Bums’ Paradise, a 53-minute documentary by Tomas McCabe that depicts the lives of the men and women who lived in the ten-year-old Albany Landfill community prior to their first eviction in 2002. It follows them through the eviction and documents them one month after the eviction. The film emphasizes their concepts of community as well as the amazing art that they created. Instead of being a documentary about homelessness, Bums’ Paradise considers the question: what if the homeless— the indigent, the bums— told their own stories?

7-8pm: Where Do You Go When it Rains?, a 1 hour 5 minutes digital film, 2009–2014, was written, produced, directed, and edited collectively by Jimbow the Hobow, Katherine Cody, Chester Mounten, Phyl Lewis, Amber Whitson, and Andy Kreamer.  It is important to recognize that without a “subject” of a film there would be no film; the characters are the authors.  And since this film is unscripted every time someone speaks they are writing, producing, and directing the film by overseeing their own actions.  All participants edited the film by viewing hours of footage and deciding what to include and exclude.  “We hope that viewers will be moved to legalize being alive on planet earth by watching this glimpse of daily life conversations about common sense at the Albany Bulb. When will the people with so much stop harassing those with so little?” said co-creator Andy Kreamer, “Everyone in the film was forced by police to leave the Bulb and live in much more degrading circumstances ever since.”

8-9pm: Refuge in Refuse, a 37 minute film by Robin Lasser was created in collaboration with the “landfillians” living at the Albany Bulb during the final year prior to their eviction in April 2014. The film highlights the stories and performative actions of residents who choose to live creatively on the cusp of imposing doom. The film draws us into the interior lives of the residents and documents the protests, community and city hall meetings, the daily lives of those who called the Bulb, home. The film presents landfill fashion shows, the building and destruction of Boxer Bob’s landfill mansion, boxercise dance lessons in the gym, and landfill performances by Tamara Robinson, as Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the West melting at Mad Mark’s Castle Window.

The films will also screen on SF Commons, San Francisco’s Public Access Television station. Click here for details.

About LavaMae: Mobile Showers for the Homeless:
LavaMae repurposes MUNI buses into showers and toilets for the homeless.  It started with a cab drive and a zinger of a line delivered by a seasoned cabbie. “Welcome to the land of broken dreams,” he said. Those seven words, a desire to bring about change, and a belief that mobile/moveable could be powerful set in motion what eventually became Lava Mae.  Started by private citizens who believe that access to showers and toilets shouldn’t be a luxury Lava Mae, a project of the Tides Center, seeks to reach those who lack access to these necessities.

Watch a video about LavaMae:
Image courtesy of LavaMae