Get SF Weekly Newsletters

Thursday, July 14, 2011

"Perfect Place/No Place" Is Ideal in Its Contradictory Conceptions of Utopia

Posted By on Thu, Jul 14, 2011 at 3:00 PM

Home with Wounds - ANN SCHNAKE
  • Ann Schnake
  • Home with Wounds
Utopia, if it existed, would depend on community and all beings working together. Yet the idea of a perfect society undoubtedly varies with each individual. "Perfect Place/No Place: Re-Imagining Utopia" at Million Fishes Arts Collective conquers this paradox -- at least in its execution -- in bringing together the work of 11 local artists. The works please individually, each one attempts to envision collectively, and the show is laid out in a way that makes it accessible and coherent. As exhibits go, it's the place you want to be.

The show was curated by MicroClimate Collective, Glenna Cole Allee and Victoria Mara Heilweil. It opened last weekend and is up through July 24.

Global Utopia of Futures Past - YULIA PINKUSEVICH
  • Yulia Pinkusevich
  • Global Utopia of Futures Past
Each piece in the exhibit is memorable. Three are particularly noteworthy. Yulia Pinkusevich's Global Utopia of Futures Past is a stunning large-scale drawing. It could be overwhelming in a negative way yet it's strategically placed to the left of the gallery entrance. The limited color palette and careful scaling enables the viewer to stare for long periods, allowing the precise geometry and subtle composition slowly take effect. The image is clearly metaphorical -- society, seemingly at peace, is unaware of the inevitable disruption, as red ink literally bleeds into the center.
Waterfall/Column - REENIE CHARRIÉRE
  • Reenie Charriére
  • Waterfall/Column
Reenie Charriére's sculptural installation Waterfall/Column is particularly disturbing. Salvaged materials are carefully encased and menacingly dangle from above -- reminding that all our perceived parameters (time, space, and all things tangible) are definitely fragile and arguably all fabricated. The whole can burst open at any moment, causing immediate exposure to the unfathomable.
Home with Wounds - ANN SCHNAKE
  • Ann Schnake
  • Home with Wounds
Ann Schnake's sculpture Home with Wounds is reminiscent of Surrealist works and just as fantastical in execution. Spoons of varying size are wrapped in bacon (reminiscent of Meret Oppenheim's Object , which was a fur-covered cup, saucer and spoon). A meat-covered utensil is undoubtedly the utopian dream of many, yet the dystopian view of others. Schnake matches this figurative balancing act with a literal one -- it involves heads of lettuce, sharp objects, and what appears to be a bandaged wound. The pieces explore domesticity, gender, and the saying "We are what we eat" -- a power struggle within one's own body.

The exhibit contains no paintings that render an exotic paradise in detail, nor does it have photographs that stage a modern and idealistic future. Together, the works point to no single, definitive place or idea. And this is exactly the point. It's what a group show should be -- varied and exhaustive in media and themes.

It is well planned, with just the right amount of space around each work to let visitors easily navigate and focus without being distracted. The range of media and style, along with the smart layout, constructs an approachability sometimes forgotten at art exhibits. Upon entry, one is excited to explore instead of intimidated or overwhelmed. For a show depicting the unattainable, it is refreshingly accessible.

"Perfect Place/No Place: Re-Imagining Utopia" continues Saturdays and Sundays through July 24 at Million Fishes Arts Collective, 2501 Bryant (at 23rd St.).

For more events this week and beyond, check out our calendar section.

Follow us on Twitter at @ExhibitionistSF and like us on Facebook.
  • Pin It

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

About The Author

Stephanie Echeveste


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed

Like us on Facebook


  • 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.'"