Public Opening: Saturday, September 22, 5–8 pm
No Time explores human relationships to the natural world in the past, present, and future. The exhibition offers a playful speculation into our perceptions of what we call “nature” and our role in its transformation. In the context of current discussions around climate change, the works in No Time show how artists can reinterpret and reimagine the landscape.
No Time builds an imaginary environment inspired by the Moss People sculptures of Finnish contemporary artist Kim Simonsson, complemented by dozens of artworks drawn from the McEvoy Family Collection. Predominant in No Time are historical, modern, and contemporary photographs spanning more than 130 years, including works by Nobuyoshi Araki, Binh Danh, Mitch Epstein, Rodney Graham, Mike and Doug Starn, Carleton Watkins, and Francesca Woodman.
Also featured in the exhibition are works by: Ansel Adams, Diane Arbus, Paul Caponigro, Keith Carter, Gohar Dashti, John Divola, Lee Friedlander, Adam Fuss, Charles Gaines, Emmet Gowin, James Hoff, Graciela Iturbide, Keizo Kitajima, Lisa Kokin, Richard Learoyd, Terri Loewenthal, Goshka Macuga, Tony Matelli, Ralph Eugene Meatyard, Abelardo Morell, Taiyo Onorato and Nico Krebs (TONK), Trevor Paglen, Gordon Parks, Alison Rossiter, Rosana Schoijett, David Benjamin Sherry, Mark Steinmetz, Larry Sultan, Penelope Umbrico, Henry Wessel, Jr., Garry Winogrand, and Margo Woloweic.
Take Only Memories, Leave Only Footprints
No Time is accompanied by a daily program of videos presented in two alternating cycles: Take Only Memories, Leave Only Footprints.
Seeing is a primary way of knowing, yet our vision is limited to our biological capabilities and temporal position. Long-term environmental changes and the influence of technological interventions are difficult to apprehend from any present moment. Cinema can, however, unlock the potential to both transcend our experience and transform our habitat. It allows us to see in supernatural time spans and at scales unavailable to the naked eye. This technology of image-making reveals deeper aesthetic truths behind the vistas. Film can track visions of our natural and built environments over time to preserve landscapes for future viewers. A prescription for appreciating these complex ecologies is “Take only memories, leave only footprints.”
Take Only Memories, Leave Only Footprints features works by Jeroen Cluckers, Daniel Crooks, Siegfried A. Fruhauf, Tanja Geis, Conner Griffith, Laura Kraning, Lois Patiño, Sabrina Ratté, Jan van IJken, Jane Veeder, and Liam Young. It is curated by Kathleen Maguire and Samuel Sharkey, Exploratorium, San Francisco and presented in conjunction with No Time, McEvoy Foundation for the Arts’s (MFA) exhibition that explores human relationships to the natural world in the past, present, and future. The program is organized in two alternating cycles, each beginning at the top of the hour in MFA’s Screening Room.
Image: Siegfried A. Fruhauf, still from Vintage Print, 2015 (detail). © sixpackfilm
Ragnar Kjartansson: Scenes from Western Culture
Ragnar Kjartansson’s Scenes from Western Culture and Nur wer die Sehnsucht kennt explore the artist’s fascination with social norms, theatrical artifice, and idle pleasure in an homage to French Rococo painter Jean-Antoine Watteau (1684–1721).
Scenes from Western Culture (2015) is a nine-screen installation of looping videos, each depicting a faintly absurd and occasionally ominous vision of Western daily life. Drawing inspiration from Watteau’s pastoral scenes of 18th-century aristocrats enjoying their leisure, Kjartansson crafts intimate moments of modern-day characters lost in a similar frivolity. The exhibition juxtaposes Kjartansson’s work with Watteau’s painting The Fortune Teller (ca. 1710), on loan from the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.
Kjartansson’s Nur wer die Sehnsucht kennt (2015) comprises numerous free-standing painted structures of snowy crags. The exposed plywood backs and supporting struts on the reverse side of each form reveals their theatrical function. Translated as “only he who knows longing” from a poem by Goethe, Nur wer die Sehnsucht kennt champions the sublime and the mundane as one. The two installations are complemented by a selection of the artist’s preparatory watercolor sketches.
Ragnar Kjartansson (b. 1976) is an Icelandic artist whose work in video installations, performances, drawings, and paintings play on the history of film, music, visual culture, and literature. His pieces are connected through humor and pathos, with each deeply influenced by the comedy and tragedy of classical theater. Kjartansson’s use of duration and repetition to harness collective emotion is a hallmark of his practice.
Scenes from Western Culture is accompanied by a daily presentation of single-channel videos by Cory Arcangel, Charles Atlas/Bill Irwin, Skip Blumberg, Harry Dodge/Stanya Kahn, Joan Jonas, Chip Lord, Mary Lucier, Tony Oursler, Pipilotti Rist, Jacolby Satterwhite, and C. Spencer Yeh.
Opening Reception: Saturday, June 2, 5–8 pm