September 8, 2016 - San Francisco Art Institute - Jill Magid: The Proposal
September 8, 2016

San Francisco Art Institute

Jill Magid, The Proposal (detail), 2016.*

Jill Magid
The Proposal
September 9–December 10, 2016

Opening: September 9, 7–9pm

San Francisco Art Institute
800 Chestnut Street
San Francisco, California
United States

Jill Magid
The Proposal
September 9–December 10, 2016

Opening: September 9, 7–9pm

San Francisco Art Institute
800 Chestnut Street
San Francisco, California
United States

Jill Magid: The Proposal 
Walter and McBean Galleries

For the past three years, artist Jill Magid has staged an undying effort that questions the ownership of Mexican architect Luis Barragán's (1902–88) professional archive by the Barragan Foundation, run under the auspices of Swiss furniture corporation Vitra. Through this work, Magid asks, “What happens to an artist’s legacy when it is owned by a corporation? And what if a corporation leverages copyright law to hide an artist’s work? Who can access it? Who can’t?”

The project, which galvanizes efforts between Barragán's descendants, the Mexican Government, international arts institutions, attorneys, and many others has reached a climactic moment—The Proposal offers the gift of a diamond grown from Barragán's ashes in exchange for the return, and public access to his professional archive in Mexico.

The body for the body of work.

Read Alice Gregory’s feature about The Proposal at The New Yorker

Watch the Field of Vision trailer.

See the recent Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen exhibition through which Magid made the proposal public in Switzerland.

Get the Sternberg Press book.

The Proposal is commissioned by San Francisco Art Institute. The exhibition is curated by Hesse McGraw, SFAI Vice President for Exhibitions and Public Programs, and organized with Katie Hood Morgan, Assistant Curator and Exhibitions Manager.

The Walter and McBean Galleries, established in 1969, present exhibitions at the forefront of contemporary art practice. The gallery serves as a laboratory for innovative and adventurous projects and commissions new work from emerging and established artists. Together, SFAI’s exhibitions and public programs catalyzes the creative processes of its student-artists and thinkers, and creates intimate connections between the SFAI community and the public.

Related film 
A documentary about The Proposal will premiere in late 2016. Field of Vision, a filmmaker-driven visual journalism film unit created by Laura Poitras, AJ Schnack, and Charlotte Cook, commissioned the documentary, which is directed by Magid, and filmed and produced by Jarred Alterman.

The Proposal is accompanied by the release of the next volume of the Critical Spatial Practice book series. It is edited by Nikolaus Hirsch, Carin Kuoni, Hesse McGraw, and Markus Miessen, and features contributions by Leonardo Díaz Borioli, Nikolaus Hirsch, David Kim, Jill Magid, Daniel McClean, Hesse McGraw, Cuauhtémoc Medina, Elizabeth A. Povinelli, and Ines Weizman. Jill Magid: The Proposal, published by Sternberg Press, is funded in part by Elizabeth Firestone Graham Foundation, The New School, and SFAI.

The Proposal book launch 
Wednesday, September 14, 6:30–8pm
The New School, Vera List Center for Art and Politics 
Wollman Hall, 66 West 12th Street, 5th Floor, New York

Nikolaus Hirsch, Editor, Critical Spatial Practice series, Sternberg Press; Jill Magid, 2013-2015 Vera List Center Fellow; Hesse McGraw, SFAI; Daniel McLean, head of art and cultural property law, Howard Kennedy LLP, London; Cuauhtémoc Medina, Chief Curator, Museo Universitario Arte Contemporáneo (MUAC) at Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM); Jorge Otero-Pailos, Associate Professor and Director of Historic Preservation at Columbia University

More info


SFAI fall 2016 public programs

Nick Sousanis 
Friday, September 9, 4:30pm

Pablo D'Antoni 
Friday, September 16, 4:30pm

Zoe Crusher 
Tuesday, September 20, 7pm

Thomas Hirschhorn 
Friday, September 23, 4:30pm 
Presented in partnership with swissnex, San Francisco

Huey Copeland 
Friday, September 30, 4:30pm

Geoffrey Farmer
Tuesday, October 4, 7pm

Brad Kahlhamer in conversation with Gary Garrels 
Tuesday, October 11, 7pm 
Presented in partnership with Headlands Center for the Arts

Howard Fried 
Tuesday, October 25, 7pm 
Presented in partnership with Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts

Diana Shpungin
Friday, October 28, 4:30pm

Koki Tanaka 
Tuesday, November 1, 7pm 
Presented in partnership with the Asian Art Museum

Gender in Translations, After Hours 
Friday, November 4, 4:30pm 
Presented in partnership with Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the US

Andrei Codrescu 
Tuesday, November 8, 7pm

Dara Birnbaum 
Tuesday, November 15, 7pm

Yung Jake 
Friday, November 18, 4:30pm 
Presented in partnership with the Kadist Art Foundation

Johanna Burton 
Friday, December 2, 4:30pm

Stay up-to-date 
Find articles, interviews, and interactive media, and stay up-to-date on social media:
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Media contact 
Nina Sazevich, Public Relations 
T 415 752 2483 / nina [​at​]


*Jill Magid, The Proposal (detail), 2016. Uncut, 2.02 carat, blue diamond with micro-laser inscription “I am wholeheartedly yours,” silver ring, ring box, documents. Setting design: Anndra Neen. Courtesy of the artist; LABOR, Mexico City; RaebervonStenglin, Zurich and Galerie Untilthen, Paris. Photo: Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen/Stefan Jaeggi.

San Francisco Art Institute
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The Proposal
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