Ala Ebtekar, Thirty-six Views of the Moon, 2018

Ala Ebtekar, Thirty-six Views of the Moon, 2018. Found book pages treated with cyanotype and exposed to moonlight. Dimensions variable. Courtesy of the artist and The Third Line

Exhibition

What is an edition, anyway?

What is an edition, anyway? explores the traditions, conditions, and inventive expressions of the contemporary artist’s multiple.

This group exhibition presents artworks from the McEvoy Family Collection and the collection of Thomas Cvikota alongside new and commissioned projects by Enrique Chagoya, Daniel Clowes, Ala Ebtekar, Jonn Herschend, Stephanie Syjuco, and Hank Willis Thomas. Alison O’Daniel: The Tuba Thieves, a related daily video program guest organized by Tanya Zimbardo, features works that explore acts of listening and producing sound.

What is an edition, anyway? is the Bay Area version of an exhibition of the same name co-curated by Cvikota and Susan Tallman for Chicago’s Mana Contemporary in 2018. For this iteration, or “edition,” artistic approaches in photography, performance, illustration, technology, and installation further explore the notion of an edition as an idea reproduced in limited quantities.

Featuring limited-edition artists’ books, prints, album covers, film ephemera, and other objects dating from the mid-20th century to the present, the exhibition provides a historical context to editions-based practices while engaging six contemporary artists to contribute creative projects that reflect their personal interpretations of the concept. Themes of politics, ownership, authenticity, sampling, distribution, creative autonomy, and empowerment run strongly through the presented objects and artworks.

Additional performances, screenings, talks, and workshops will take place throughout the run of the exhibition, including special programs presented in tandem with the San Francisco Art Book Fair (July 19–21, 2019).

ABOUT THE ARTISTS

Enrique Chagoya (b. 1953) juxtaposes secular, popular, and religious symbols in order to address the ongoing cultural clash between the United States, Latin America and the world as well. He works in different media such as painting, drawing, multiples and printmaking. A new monograph “Aliens” will be released in early 2019, published by Kelly’s Cove in Berkeley, California. His work can be found in many public collections including the British Museum, London; ARTIUM, Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain; Smithsonian Museum, Washington DC; MoMA, New York; Metropolitan Museum, New York; Whitney Museum, New York; and SFMOMA, San Francisco among others.

Daniel Clowes (b. 1961) is the acclaimed cartoonist of the comic book series Eightball and the graphic novels Ghost World, David Boring, Ice Haven, Wilson, Mr. Wonderful, and The Death-Ray. He is the subject of the monograph The Art of Daniel Clowes: Modern Cartoonist, published in conjunction with a major retrospective at the Oakland Museum of California and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago. He is an Oscar-nominated screenwriter, the recipient of numerous awards including the PEN Literary Award, Eisner Award, Harvey Award, and Ignatz Award, and a frequent cover artist for the New Yorker. He lives in Oakland, CA.

Ala Ebtekar (b. 1978) is an artist, researcher, and educator who works between his native San Francisco Bay Area and Tehran, Iran. Born in Berkeley, California to Iranian activist/artist parents, from an early age he developed an affinity towards various notions of in-between-ness, which has led him to explore the many spaces amongst the two cultures, both shared and separated, momentary and boundless. Ebtekar’s works are in public and private collections including the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, USA; Deutsche Bank, Frankfurt, Germany; Devi Art Foundation, India; Orange County Museum of Art, CA, USA; de Young Fine Arts Museum, San Francisco, USA; Crocker Art Museum, CA, USA; Microsoft Art Collection, Redmond, WA; Berkeley Art Museum, CA, USA; among others. He currently teaches at Stanford University in the Department of Art & Art History and Institute for Diversity in the Arts.

Jonn Herschend (b. 1967) is an interdisciplinary artist, filmmaker, and experimental publisher. He received an MFA from the University of California, Berkeley in 2006 and exhibits nationally and internationally, including the Whitney Biennale, the Telluride Film Festival and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He is a winner of three Golden Gate Awards from the SFFILM Festival (2010, 2013, 2015) the SFMOMA SECA award (2012) and the Fleishhacker Eureka Fellowship (2013). He is co-founder and co-editor of THE THING Quarterly and a senior lecturer at California College of the Arts. 

Hank Willis Thomas (b. 1976) is a conceptual artist working primarily with themes related to perspective, identity, commodity, media, and popular culture. His work is included in numerous public collections including the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, and the Whitney Museum of American Art, among others. Thomas is a recipient of the Gordon Parks Foundation Fellowship (2018), Guggenheim Fellowship (2018), the AIMIA | AGO Photography Prize (2017), the Soros Equality Fellowship (2017), and is a member of the New York City Public Design Commission.

Stephanie Syjuco (b. 1974) creates large-scale spectacles of collected cultural objects, cumulative archives, and temporary vending installations, often with an active public component that invites viewers to directly participate as producers or distributors. Using critical wit and collaborative co-creation, her projects leverage open-source systems, shareware logic, and flows of capital, in order to investigate issues of economies and empire. She is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship Award (2014) and a Joan Mitchell Painters and Sculptors Award (2009). Her work has been exhibited widely, including at MoMA/PS1, the Whitney Museum of American Art, The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, ZKM Center for Art and Technology, the California Biennial at the Orange County Museum of Art, The 12th Havana Biennial, The 2015 Asian Art Biennial (Taiwan), among others. A long-time educator, she has taught at Stanford University, The California College of the Arts, The San Francisco Art Institute, Carnegie Mellon University, and is an Assistant Professor in Sculpture at the University of California at Berkeley.