January 14, 2019 - Curatorial Research Bureau - Winter/spring programs
January 14, 2019

Curatorial Research Bureau

[1] Curatorial Research Bureau. [2] AfterWord with Shahryar Nashat, September 2018.

Winter/spring programs
January 8–May 19, 2019

Curatorial Research Bureau
at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts
701 Mission Street
San Francisco, CA 94103
United States
Hours: Tuesday–Friday 12–6pm,
Thursday 12–8pm



Join us at Curatorial Research Bureau for a series of free public programs featuring Gwen Allen, Giorgio Angelini, Julia Born, Dore Bowen, Yann Chateigné, Allan deSouza, David Evans Frantz, Shannon Harvey, Kevin KillianConstance Lewallen, Nancy Lim, Maria Lind, Christina Linden, Josiah McElheny, Adam Michaels, Vee Moran, Frances Richard, Barbara Stauffacher Solomom, and James Voorhies

Curatorial Research Bureau is a bookshop, learning site, exhibition and public program that unites education and consumerism inside a contemporary arts institution, looking at context—art, ideas, people, places, and things—as active ingredients in the practice of curatorial research, exhibition making, and community building. CRB is located at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. It is directed by art historian and curator James Voorhies, Chair of the Graduate Program in Curatorial Practice at California College of the Arts, in collaboration with Motto Books.

Offering informal discussions, slide shows, screenings, readings, academic seminars, and performances, CRB is a forum where students, faculty, and the general public convene for collective learning. As a bookshop, CRB is responsive to the hybridization of contemporary life, where a “bookshop/screening” or a “coffee bar/artist talk” conflate the consumption of material and immaterial culture as equally valuable modes of cultural exchange and experience. Recognizing the fuzzy line between audiences and consumers, the CRB bookshop as a consumerist form provides unique programmatic possibilities for curating art and cultural presentations. The objective is to bring audiences closer together—physically, in public space—for frequent engagement with art and ideas. To that end, four programmatic models—Call + Response, Open Seminar, AfterWord, and Case Studies—serve as primary means to contextualize topics. 

Call + Response is an invitation to San Francisco Bay Area cultural producers in fields of design, architecture, humanities, civic affairs, urban planning, and more to connect with Curatorial Research Bureau by inserting their ideas and work into the public realm for open dialogue.

Open Seminar provides opportunities for the graduate academic seminar to step into the public realm, with faculty, students, and visiting practitioners deciding how to connect the typically reserved seminar format with a broader selection of invited attendees from the arts and culture scenes in the Bay Area.

AfterWord is a series of intimate, by-invitation-only gatherings with visiting arts practitioners following their larger public events at CCA and nearby institutions. The purpose is to involve graduate students, faculty, and invited guests in informal and more focused engagements with visiting practitioners, an opportunity to delve deeper into topics touched upon in the formal public presentations.

Case Studies identifies a book to unfurl into an exhibition of archival materials, photographic reproductions, periodicals, ephemera, sound, and text that amplify ideas explored by the featured publication. Case Studies shapeshifts on a monthly basis, drawing upon CRB’s rotating book inventory as a vital resource for the practice of curating in the public realm.

These programmatic models combined with CCA’s graduate seminars, which occur at Curatorial Research Bureau, transform the consumer site of a bookshop into bookshop/screening, bookshop/seminar, or bookshop/artist talk. The platform uses consumerism to eschew the private space of academia and public space of exhibition to, above all, forge a learning site where intersections of art, design, education, and consumer culture offer new ways an institution can address and engage audiences. The bookshop form is leveraged for social connectivity and education as exhibition, where distinctions between the arts and entertainment are increasingly blurred.

Made possible with funding and support from California College of the Arts and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. Produced by Bureau for Open Culture, in collaboration with Motto Books.

Curatorial Research Bureau
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