The Way We Were
By: Cindy Hu
Four new exhibitions and one new world film premiere focus on some of the San Francisco Bay Area’s most transformative decades and the ideas that spawned many local experiments. From the seeds of flower power to the Utopian visions of Buckminster Fuller, these shows capture a moment in local history.
Through June 3
Arthur Tress: San Francisco 1964
de Young Museum, 50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Dr., Golden Gate Park
In the summer of 1964 San Francisco was the setting for both the 28th Republican National Convention (the “Goldwater” convention at the historic Cow Palace) and the launch of The Beatles’ first North American tour. It was a seminal moment and a young photographer named Arthur Tress arrived at this opportune moment in the city’s history and found himself in the midst of civil rights demonstrations and chaotic political pageantry. This is the first museum exhibition of a virtually unknown body of Tress’ early work. More than 70 photos capture the urban landscape of this quirky metropolis. For information visit www.famsf.org or call 415-750-3600.
March 31-Aug. 19, 2012
The 1968 Exhibit
Oakland Museum of California
1000 Oak St., Oakland
This March, the Oakland Museum of California presents “The 1968 Exhibit,” a major, multimedia, 7,000-square-foot exhibition examining the events of the year and how they fueled a persistent, and often contradictory, sense of identity for the people who were there and those who came after. This landmark exhibition explores the social, political and economic events of the year, which saw the peak of the Vietnam War, the assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert Kennedy, riots at the Democratic National Convention, Black Power demonstrations at the Summer Olympics, feminist demonstrations at the Miss America pageant and much more. For information visit www.museumca.org or http://www.the1968exhibit.org/.
A companion exhibition titled “All of Us or None: Social Justice Posters of the San Francisco Bay Area,” will also be on view. This comprehensive exhibition explores the poster renaissance that started in the Bay Area in the mid-1960s as both a legitimate art form as well as a powerful tool for public debate on social justice issues.
Through July 1, 2012
Life and Death in Black and White: AIDS Direct Action in San Francisco, 1985-1990
The GLBT History Museum, 4127 18th St.
This new photography exhibition focuses on the work of five queer photographers who documented the emergence of militant AIDS activism in San Francisco through the medium of black-and-white film. With sharp focus and deep compassion, they turned their lenses on their own community, capturing sorrow and outrage, courage and wit, a fierce will to live and a deep commitment to honor the dying and remember the dead. The exhibition features the work of Jane Philomen Cleland, Patrick Clifton, Marc Geller, Rick Gerharter and Daniel Nicoletta. On Monday, April 9, from 7-9 p.m. at the museum, the photographers will discuss their experiences. Some of their images of AIDS activism have become iconic; others have never before been publicly displayed. For information visit www.glbthistorymuseum.org or call 415-621-1107.
March 31-July 29, 2012
The Utopian Impulse: Buckminster Fuller and the Bay Area
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, 151 Third St.
The Bay Area attracts dreamers, progressives, nonconformists and designers. Buckminster Fuller was all of these, and though he never lived in San Francisco, his ideas spawned many local experiments in the realms of technology, engineering, and sustainability—some more successful than others. The Whole Earth Catalog, The North Face, Pritzker Prize–winning architect Thom Mayne (whose work can be seen at 90 Seventh St. in the new Federal Building), and California Governor Jerry Brown have all cited Fuller as a key influence on several projects. The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) will present the first exhibition to consider Fuller's local design legacy. The presentation will feature some 65 works, including prints, drawings, photographs, documentary video, books, models, and ephemera representing some of Fuller's most iconic projects from the late 1920s through the mid-1970s alongside those by Bay Area designers inspired by his philosophy. For information visit www.sfmoma.org or call 415-357-4000.
May 1, 2012
The Love Song of R. Buckminster Fuller
Phyllis Wattis Theater, SFMOMA, 151 Third St.
The San Francisco International Film Festival (SFIFF) and SFMOMA have teamed up to co-present the world premiere of “The Love Song of R. Buckminster Fuller” with a live score performed by Yo La Tengo for the “Live & Onstage” lineup. The film which includes live narration by Academy Award-documentarian Sam Green and live music by indie superstars Yo La Tenga is part of larger commissioned project included in the Buckminster Fuller exhibition at SFMOMA. Both the documentary and the exhibition contemplate the projects Fuller proposed for the Bay Area — including a gargantuan floating tetrahedral city in the middle of the Bay — and explore his utopian vision of radical change through a "design revolution." In addition to the live documentary, Green is producing a multi-channel installation, built by the local tech wizards at Obscura Digital. For tickets (which include admittance to Fuller exhibition at SFMOMA) and information visit www.sffs.org.
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