“There’s this pantheon of Hollywood, and media, and how we’re supposed to look,” says artist and curator of SOMArts’ upcoming "Glamorgeddon: The Spectacle," Johanna Poethig. “This show is really about getting away from that, looking at the politics behind that.”
Opening this Thursday, the exhibition — which Poethig co-curates with fellow California-based artists Angelica Muro and Hector Dionicio Mendoza — combines a balance of extravagance and thoughtfulness, and showcases the concepts behind "glamour" via visual art, mixed media, and performance. The pieces are colorful, they’re fun, and they’re all wonderfully over-the-top. And with over two dozen contributing artists, this idea of exorbitant fabulousness is mirrored by the sheer size of the production; it’s going to be massive.
Which isn’t to say that Glamorgeddon is an event purely of indulgence. Poethig explains that she seeks to examine, “[...] all of the layers around glamour — or the way we’re colonized in so many different ways. There’s also a strain in this show and performance that happens to do with the fact that we are [...] really trying to address and be critical of our own excess,” she says. “It’s this interesting intersection. It’s a wild, fun idea, but it also addresses — through art and performance — all these other issues that we’re living with right now.”
With that in mind, audiences are encouraged to come dressed, “to transgress.” Poethig’s hope is that the public can “de-colonizing yourself from the spectacle of media marketplace and [...] celebrate your own fabulous, glamorous self - while at the same time being critical of the excess of our society. ”
While dressed to impress, patrons can enjoy pieces on display in the gallery, including 3D printed Hello Kitty dolls by Joyce Hsu, an interactive sound installation by Laetitia Sonami, and garments inspired by classic Latina glamour girls (such as Rita Hayworth and Frida Kahlo) by Amalia Mesa-Bains — or opt to take a ride around town with various artists, scholars, and speakers in a hot pink limo as part of Glamorgeddon’s Limo Lecture series.
Alongside these creations are pieces by Poethig, featuring her own signature style of, “kitschy, trashy, intelligent point of view on our crazy society.” Think bedazzled hardhats and rhinestone traffic cones. Glamorous? Absolutely.
“It’s so much fun to just be glamourous,” says Poethig.
SOMArts presents "Glamorgeddon: The Spectacle" at 6 p.m. and the show continues through Feb. 4 at SOMArts (934 Brannan). Admission is free during gallery hours.