Get SF Weekly Newsletters

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Photos and Video from Ruin Me, Where Patrons Made an Exhibit Look Like a Crime Scene

Posted on Thu, Jul 7, 2011 at 1:30 PM

Erin Gallup, she of the ever-calm exterior, before the wreckage was wrought.
  • Erin Gallup, she of the ever-calm exterior, before the wreckage was wrought.
"Catharsis." That's one way to look at this exhibit. The opening for Erin Gallup and Scott Weiser's "Ruin Me" at Fivepoints Arthouse on Friday was exactly what it sounds like. Gallup prepared four walls of artwork and suspended implements of destruction from the ceiling, including a hammer, a mitre saw, a corkscrew, a knife, and numerous heavy ink pens. Weiser provided the electronic score and set up a mixing board through which the music could be abruptly and randomly rearranged by anyone who cared to do so.

"Ruin Me" was a perfect setup for catharsis. Just that day, Gallup had resigned from a corporate tech job in Sunnyvale that she described as soul-sucking. Her most recent exhibits had left her exhausted and disillusioned. Gallup put the artwork up for sale -- pricing it at less than what she'd paid for the material. It had all the makings of a soul-destroying ritual, in which one would expect Gallup and Weiser to scream, orchestrate the destruction, shed tears, and fall to the floor, beating it like a jilted lover pounding on a locked door.

Yet Gallup was calm, level-headed, disciplined, pleasant. Her cool demeanor was not creepy or eerie, which sort of made it more creepy and eerie. Weiser was unassuming to the point that if you didn't know he was the sound artist, you wouldn't have suspected him. Our guess? They let the show's visitors channel their rage and frustration. And, God almighty, those visitors had their way with this exhibit. Keep reading to see what it looked like.

All is calm before the first visitor arrives. Framed photographs line one wall, small framed drawings another.
  • All is calm before the first visitor arrives. Framed photographs line one wall, small framed drawings another.
Erin Gallup's mother, left, flew in for the opening. The wall to the right holds copies of the same wood-block print of a naked man and woman.
  • Erin Gallup's mother, left, flew in for the opening. The wall to the right holds copies of the same wood-block print of a naked man and woman.
The calm blue composition of Gallup's paintings contradicts the violence to come.
  • The calm blue composition of Gallup's paintings contradicts the violence to come.
Prelude to hammertime.
  • Prelude to hammertime.
Gallup speaks with visitor No. 2. Throughout the night she left a trail of photocopied U.S. and Chinese currency.
  • Gallup speaks with visitor No. 2. Throughout the night she left a trail of photocopied U.S. and Chinese currency.
Next: Patrons strike the initial blows.
  • Pin It

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed

Like us on Facebook

Slideshows

  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"