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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Looking for Beauty in the Tenderloin Through Film, Art, and More

Posted By on Tue, Oct 29, 2013 at 11:30 AM

There seems to be an increased focus on the Tenderloin as of late. If you haven't read the article that everyone is talking about in SF Magazine, there's that; and now, an art installation encouraging you to sit in the dirt of the Tenderloin and a documentary in the works, titled Love Me Tenderloin.

The Tenderloin Dirt Harvest, from San Francisco artist Ilana Crispi, encourages participants to sit on dirt made into furniture pieces and eat and drink from vessels made of soil from Boedeccker Park. How does one drink out of dirt? After experimenting with the soil she found it melts at a certain temperature and transform into a glazed clay.

Dishes and spoons made of dirt - EVAN DUCHARME
  • Evan DuCharme
  • Dishes and spoons made of dirt

Somewhat perplexed by the why of this art project, a press release reveals the artist wanted participants to see the beauty in the Tenderloin. "Most people I have spoken with demonstrate a visible disgust at the idea of touching the ground here," said Crispi. "So through this installation I'm challenging people to experience a beautiful version of this neighborhood." The Tenderloin documentary looks less at the surroundings and more at the people who inhabit the neighborhood, specifically the visible population on the streets. Filmmaker Henri Quenette, says of his project:
  • Still from "Love Me Tenderloin"
"I do hope that through Love Me Tenderloin, the general public will perhaps be more compassionate towards people in need. I also want to raise awareness about homelessness in San Francisco and show that even if the Tenderloin is often linked to issues related to the drug trade and homelessness, it is also a vibrant neighborhood where people are trying to get by and live daily."
The teaser for the documentary doesn't sugar coat the reality of the neighborhood, but it does point to a positive aspect this neighborhood has that many others lack -- a strong sense of community. The Dirt Harvest is free and is open Sat.-Sun noon-4 p.m. and will be open on First Thursday (Nov. 7, 6-10 p.m.) at Ramon's Tailor (628 Jones at Post). The documentary will premiere next Spring and you can support the release through its indiegogo page. Check out the preview of Love Me Tenderloin :
For events in San Francisco this week and beyond, check out our calendar section. Follow us on Twitter at @ExhibitionistSF, Mollie at @MollieM10, and like us on Facebook.
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About The Author

Mollie McWilliams

Mollie McWilliams

Mollie is the Web Editor and has been with SF Weekly since 2010.


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