Resonance of Place: CCA Curatorial Practice Thesis Exhibition

Resonance of Place: CCA Curatorial Practice Thesis Exhibition

California College of the Arts (CCA)

Natani Notah, #TsiiyéełPowered, 2017–ongoing. Video documentation of walking performances (color, sound), 19 minutes. Courtesy of the artist.

April 26, 2022
Resonance of Place: CCA Curatorial Practice Thesis Exhibition
April 28–May 14, 2022
CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts
360 Kansas Street
San Francisco, CA 94103
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California College of the Arts Graduate Program in Curatorial Practice, in partnership with CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, presents “Resonance of Place,” curated by CCA’s Graduate Program in Curatorial Practice Class of 2022: Selam Bekele, Lauren Sorresso, and Yu Jin Sung.

“Resonance of Place” brings unseen dynamics of place to attention. The exhibition includes a group of iterative videos, performances, and installations. Artists respond to shifts in their respective environments in these works, recalling the ways that particular locations can echo throughout history, and each establishes relationships with multiple sites of production that involve direct and indirect forms of bodily intervention.

In Zarouhie Abdalian’s outdoor sound installation Chanson du ricochet, located in the center of CCA’s Oakland campus during its last semester of active use as an art college, a voice reads from a list of “tools of construction” that references labor histories of the built environment. In her accompanying text work Chanson, those spoken words are transcribed onto the walls of the Wattis Institute gallery. Also on view in the gallery is Miguel Arzabe’s five-part video series Trajectories, in which iridescent bubbles float through different Northern California landscapes, suggesting the vulnerable bonds between people and the environment. The exhibition also includes Natani Notah’s ongoing walking performance #TsiiyéełPowered, in the form of photo and video documentation and an installation of extended-length hair ties that the artist wore during three of her performances.

Throughout these works, the artists use material objects that reference specific narratives about the places in which they are situated—a national forest, a closed café, and a crowded pier, for example—reflecting on the precarious connections surrounding a place. Their stories reveal intimate understandings of the Bay Area landscape, where the artists have all lived, studied, and worked. Yet the compositions carry beyond California to elsewhere in the world, to sites past, and to imaginaries still to come.

The exhibition catalog is a limited-edition print publication that includes installation images and other documentation of the works provided by each of the artists, alongside curatorial essays and artist interviews. A free downloadable version of the catalog is also available.

Participating Artists

Zarouhie Abdalian
Miguel Arzabe
Natani Notah

In California College of the Arts’s Graduate Program in Curatorial Practice, students work closely with faculty mentors—and collaborate with fellow students—to develop the intellectual, analytical, and practical skills needed to pursue a range of professional paths in contemporary art.

The program positions the curator as a researcher, advocate, and ally who understands context as a means of articulating connections among artists, artworks, ideas, information, and audiences. Curatorial Studies students are encouraged to work creatively, think critically, and imagine a practice beyond the current boundaries of the art world. We ask students to envision how cultural producers might work together to foster new models for the future.

Founded in 1998 at California College of the Arts in San Francisco and located a few blocks from its campus, CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts is a nonprofit exhibition venue and research institute dedicated to contemporary art and ideas. As an exhibition space, it commissions and shows new work by emerging and established artists from around the world.

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April 26, 2022

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