Catalogue entries, Highlights, eds. Judy Bloch and Suzanne Stein, SFMOMA, 2015

At the invitation of Judy Bloch and Suzanne Stein of SFMOMA, grupa o.k. chose two works from the museum's permanent collection on which to reflect in brief, somewhat poetic entries. We immediately gravitated toward two very different paintings that nevertheless bear important similarities: Alice Neel's Geoffrey Hendricks and Brian (1978) and Frida Kahlo's Frieda and Diego Rivera (1931) are both double portraits depicting couples, painted by women.

Highlights is projected to be published in late 2015 in anticipation of SFMOMA's grand reopening in 2016.

Catalogue entry on Mark McKnight, 20/20vision, Sturm&Drang, Zurich, and Christophe Guye Galerie, Zurich, July 2015

At the invitation of Christophe Guye, grupa o.k. nominated Mark McKnight for the gallery's inaugural photo biennial 20/20vision.

Book description . Exhibition page

Article, "Reproduction and Reproduction," Mousse Magazine 49, Summer 2015


Exhibition review, David Hockney: A Bigger Exhibition at the de Young Museum, (peer review), September 24, 2014

What is an exhibition for? What can it produce? In its earliest forms in the middle of the eighteenth century—the Salon of the Académie des Beaux-Arts in Paris and the exhibiting societies of London—the exhibition was a collective affair, organized among artists: a form of self-assessment and public presentation mediating between a guild of merchant craftsmen and the unstable fractions within the public that might provide a market for those artists’ work. In this anxious context the emergence of the “solo” exhibition, as curator João Ribas has argued in recent lectures, risked the appearance of careerism, conceit, and self-interest. This negative impression stuck. In a letter to his son in 1885, a vexed Camille Pissarro referred to a recent solo exhibition of Claude Monet, cautioning, “A poor idea, to have one-man shows. The newspapers, knowing that a dealer is behind it, do not breathe a word.” [...]


Essay, "Dana DeGiulio, Proposal for a Future Museum, 2013," gallery guide, Flash! contemporary art series, California Museum of Photography at UCR ARTSblock, May 2014

grupa o.k. authored the essay accompanying an exhibition of Dana DeGiulio's work at California Museum of Photography at UCR ARTSblock, May 31-August 9, 2014.

Exhibition page . Gallery guide

Public program, "Distance Viewing," San Francisco, October 2013

Guided tour, part of the series CITYDETOUR organized by Joseph del Pesco, CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, San Francisco

Distance Viewing builds a sequence of four viewpoints that allows a wide view of the city in pursuit of an image of San Francisco in toto -- as picture, or as sculpture. The event will consist of a daylong tour in the spirit of experimental research and conversation.

Historical arrangements of the city typically reserved the tallest buildings -- and therefore, the view they afforded -- for the sovereign. And if modernist urbanism (in the guise of the high-rise) worked relatively to democratize the view, it still held the high ground for the upper classes (in San Francisco, witness Pacific Heights) -- or, in exceptional cases, the tourist, for a fee.

By seeking out the commonly accessible outcrops and exteriors that afford spectacular views, Distance Viewing asserts the value of the sweeping perspective as a universal privilege.

Program description

Edel Adnan, untitled leporello, c. 1970s

Exhibition, Words and Places: Etel Adnan (co-advised with Ana Paula Cohen), Kent and Vicki Logan Gallery, CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, San Francisco, April 17-June 29, 2013

Words and Places: Etel Adnan is an exhibition produced by the graduating class of the Graduate Program in Curatorial Practice at California College of the Arts with the support of the Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts. Words and Places features works by Etel Adnan, Chris Marker, Rabih Mroué, and the Otolith Group, as well as selected articles from the Al-Safa newspaper archive.

Words and Places: Etel Adnan is the first large-scale institutional exhibition of work by the Lebanese writer, poet, and painter Etel Adnan, spanning six decades of her artistic practice. Born in Beirut in 1925 to a Christian Greek mother and a Muslim Syrian father, Adnan has spent her life between places—Beirut, Paris, and the Bay Area—negotiating their different cultures and languages, as well as her distinctive position among them. This experience of displacement deeply informs her work, which similarly ranges between mediums and formats. Her work has recently been included in dOCUMENTA (13) (Kassel, Germany, 2012) and the Serpentine Gallery Map Marathon (London, 2010).

The exhibition explores Adnanʼs complex negotiation between verbal and visual forms of expression. Some of the featured paintings include elements of geographical specificity—for instance a series of paintings of Mount Tamalpais, just north of San Francisco, a place that she says “orients” her—whereas others are ambiguous paintings of envisioned “non-places.” Adnanʼs leporellos, or folding books, offer a compelling fusion of written texts and painted or drawn images. Their unique design is intended to accommodate narrative, and they connect the immediacy of her gestural paintings with the extended durations of her writings.

The exhibition also includes selected articles written by Adnan for the francophone daily newspaper Al-Safa (these appear courtesy of Adnan and the Bibliothèque nationale de France) as well as film and video works by Chris Marker, Rabih Mroué, and the Otolith Group that relate directly or obliquely to Adnanʼs practice. Markerʼs eerie footage of sculptures at the fringe of the San Francisco Bay; Mrouéʼs conflations of destruction and construction, future and past in an unspecified city; and the Otolith Groupʼs portrait of Adnan reading her own poetry in her Paris home: all present a melancholic counterpoint to Adnanʼs work, deepening the exhibitionʼs logic of place and displacement.

Exhibition page

Series of blog posts, Proposal for a Museum, eds. Julian Myers and Joanna Szupinska, SFMOMA Open Space, October 2012-May 2013

In 2013 SFMOMA closed for a building expansion planned to last nearly three years. Reflecting on the closure, grupa o.k. asked several friends and colleagues to imagine their own proposals for a museum in San Francisco. Their proposals -- alongside projects and “proposals” discovered elsewhere -- were published on SFMOMA's Open Space blog:

grupa o.k., "Proposal for a Museum," SFMOMA Open Space, November 26, 2012

Zarouhie Abdalian, "Museum of the Witnessing Object," SFMOMA Open Space, November 27, 2012

grupa o.k., "Le Corbusier’s Project for a ‘Museum of Unlimited Growth,’ 1931," SFMOMA Open Space, November 30, 2012

grupa o.k., "Nikolai Fedorov's Philosophy of the Common Goal," SFMOMA Open Space, December 3, 2012

Daniel Marcus, "A Public Museum," SFMOMA Open Space, December 6, 2012

Ian Dolton-Thornton, "Proposal for a Museum," SFMOMA Open Space, December 11, 2012

grupa o.k., "Ed Ruscha, The Los Angeles County Museum on Fire, 1968," SFMOMA Open Space, December 17, 2012

grupa o.k., "Paulina Ołowska, Yael Bartana, and the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw," SFMOMA Open Space, December 18, 2012

Dieter Roelstraete and Monika Szewczyk, "Proposal for a Museum," SFMOMA Open Space, December 21, 2012

Ahmet Öğüt, "Artifact (hereafter referred to as the work of art)," SFMOMA Open Space, January 8, 2013

grupa o.k., "El Lissitzky's Abstract Cabinet," SFMOMA Open Space, January 12, 2013

Xiaoyu Weng, "Museum of the False," SFMOMA Open Space, January 22, 2013

grupa o.k., "Roman Ondák’s Virtual Museum of Contemporary Art," SFMOMA Open Space, January 25, 2013

grupa o.k., "Meschac Gaba’s Museum of Contemporary African Art," SFMOMA Open Space, January 29, 2013

Arden Sherman, "Mise en green," SFMOMA Open Space, January 31, 2013

grupa o.k., "Trieste Constructivist Cabinet," SFMOMA Open Space, February 4, 2013

Terry Smith, "'You Can Be a Museum, or Contemporary...'," SFMOMA Open Space, February 5, 2013

Dana DeGiulio, "Proposal for a Future Museum," SFMOMA Open Space, February 7, 2013

Byron Peters and Matthew Post (with Xiaoyu Weng and grupa o.k.), "Questions on Expansion," SFMOMA Open Space, May 28, 2013

Essay, “Nic Nie Wiem,” Dana DeGiulio: Say Say Say (exhibition catalogue), Iceberg Projects, Chicago, Fall 2012

Exhibition page . PDF

Exhibition, Ramón Miranda Beltrán: Chicago is My Kind of Town (co-curated with Ionit Behar), Julius Caesar, Chicago, October 7-28, 2012

With Ionit Behar we curated a solo presentation of work by Ramón Miranda Beltrán entitled Chicago is My Kind of Town for the artist-run gallery Julius Caesar in Chicago. The project investigated eight historical moments of political unrest culled from the history of Chicago: the Haymarket Riot (1886), Pullman Strike Riot (1894), Chicago Race Riot (1919), Memorial Day Massacre (1937), Martin Luther King Riot (1968), Democratic Convention (1968), Days of Rage (1969), and the Humbolt Park Riot (1977). Chicago is My Kind of Town emphasized the links and differences among past social situations and those of the present. The exhibition’s title explicitly conjures the protests surrounding the NATO Summit in Chicago in May 2012, policed by officers delivered to the location in municipal buses flashing a slogan from the song recorded by Frank Sinatra in 1964, “My Kind of Town.” Like the public crises of the past, these events manifested distress and hope, failure and transcendence, rupture and kinship.

Exhibition page

Exhibition, Group-Work, Sullivan Galleries, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, April 28-May 18, 2012

At the invitation of Mary Jane Jacob, Group-Work was one of four parts -- alongside sections curated by Pablo Helguera, Tumelo Mosaka, and Steven Bridges -- of the SAIC graduate exhibition in 2012. Group-Work was curated by four Graduate Curatorial Fellows: Ionit Behar (MA, Modern Art History, Theory, and Criticism, 2013), Natalie Clark (MA, Arts Administration and Policy, 2012), Michaela Hansen (MDes, Fashion, Body and Garment, 2012), and Laura-Caroline Johnson (Dual MA, Modern Art History, Theory, and Criticism, and Arts Administration and Policy, 2012).

From our introduction:

"When SAIC invited us to contribute to the exhibition, visions of past student shows, juried exhibitions, and crowded art fairs flashed before our eyes. It is our belief that these disorienting scenes, over- and underwhelming at once, were what the organizers sought to avoid reproducing here, and we accepted the challenge in order to find out whether it was possible to curate a graduate exhibition—the result of so many competing interests and ideas, hopes and cynicisms—without replicating the troubles of past forms. SAIC’s drive to innovate in the realm of art education and student exhibitions was compelling to us, and so we set about defining the terms for our section."

Guest curator presentation . Exhibition page . Exhibition catalogue . "On the Ideologies of Graduate Exhibition (Extended)" . "A Single Product: Some Passages (unpublished)"

Public program, "Robert Morris is Unavailable," MCA Chicago, October 2011

Organized in conjunction with the exhibition The Language of Less (Then and Now), Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago

This event was a public reading of passages chosen from the collected writings of pivotal Minimalist artist Robert Morris by invited speakers Huey Copeland, Michael Darling, James Goggin, Michelle Grabner, Erica Levin, and Sophia Rauch

Event description

Public program, "Riot Show," SFMOMA, December 2, 2010

Koret Visitor Education Center, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

As part of SFMOMA’s program Open Space Thursdays, we hosted a discussion about “Riot Show,” Julian’s sound and video archive of live concert recordings in which audience members intervene in performances, forcing their premature end. We played and discussed excerpts from the collection, which includes recordings from concerts by Suicide, Public Image Limited, Guns N’ Roses, and more.

The conversation included cinema theorist and anthropologist Tarek El Haik, art and media historian Erica Levin, artist and cultural anthropologist Fiamma Montezemolo, and curators Sharon Lerner and Xiaoyu Weng, and reflected on politics, music, bootlegs, the bit-crushed aesthetics of digital media, the culture of spectacle, the apparatus of amplification, the drama of crowds, and the strange, compelling things that happen when someone in the audience at a concert pulls a plug or throws a bottle.

Related links:

Julian Myers, “Riot Show: Some Notes on the Archive,” Fillip, no. 12, Fall 2010 (pages 20–29)

Riot Show (event description), Open Space Thursdays, SFMOMA

Julian Myers and Joanna Szupinska, “On ‘Riot Show’,” SFMOMA Open Space, November 30, 2010

Sharon Lerner and Xiaoyu Weng, “After ‘Riot Show’,” SFMOMA Open Space, December 13, 2010

Heidi De Vries, “I Want a Riot of My Own,” SF Weekly, November 24, 2010

“Eulogy for a Riot,” The Off Brand, December 7, 2010

Exhibition catalogue, We have as much time as it takes, eds. Julian Myers and Joanna Szupinska, CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, and the Graduate Program in Curatorial Practice at CCA, San Francisco, 2010

This publication reflects many of the themes of the group exhibition We have as much time as it takes, including circular processes and resistance to the production of assessable results. Designed by Jon Sueda/STRIPE SF, the book features an exposed binding and nontraditional typesetting. Challenging a common function of the conventional exhibition catalog, the images are speculative rather than documentary: a set of 10 drawings by artist Matthew Rana illustrates his interpretation of the works in the show prior to the manifestation of the exhibition. The book also includes new texts by the poet Jasper Bernes and the writers Erica Levin and Daniel Marcus, an essay by Jacqueline Clay and Kristin Korolowicz, and interviews with each of the artists. Featured artists include Nina Beier and Marie Lund, David Horvitz, Jason Mena, Sandra Nakamura, Roman Ondák, Red76, Zachary Royer Scholz, Tercerunquinto, Lawrence Weiner, and Christine Wong Yap.

Book description . PDF