Ideas at Ocean Beach
The Best Memories of Theodore Clayborne by the Genius Artist HirokiBorn in rural Oregon, the sales clerk Theodore W. Clayborune displayed an astonishingly early ability to read and write, a secret kept by his family for decades. Claybourne began his first journal at a time even before his vocal cord development allowed phonetic speech, as an infant filling pages with words from his environment soon followed by phrases and simple sentences. Through his early years his writings became an obsession devoted to maintaining an increasingly detailed account of everything that ever happened to him. Claybourne battled what would become a lifelong battle with depression and what he referred to as a short lifetime of "mistakes duly repeated." Unregarded and completely unknown until the time of his death at age 143, Clayborune’s longevity suddenly became the subject of worldwide conspiracy theories, religious contemplation and scientific speculation. Several months following his death, histological analysis of an illegally procured sample of his brain tissue revealed a heightened level of acetylcholinesterase, an enzyme known to break down the neurotransmitter acetylcholine in the nervous system. Claybourne was known to remark that his constant state of remembering kept his body in a peculiar stasis.
About the artist:Arguably the most acclaimed memory artist in the world, the Japanese artist Hiroki was the sole individual granted access to Theodore W. Claybourne’s secret archives by his estate upon his highly publicized death. After decades of translating and reviewing Claybourne’s vast collection of almost 16,000 journals, Hiroki decided to provide to the world only these sixteen most essential memories, famously declaring the rest superfluous. And the end of a career spanning almost fifty years with exhibitions on every developed continent, Hiroki often declared this to be her finest work.
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New Advertising Mock-Ups(Copy filled in later by Marketing.)
A Wordplay Study
Every Idea I Ever Had.
already chubby when he took over after his father’s death.
The other night I walked in to Cafe La Boheme1 and my friend Awad Faddoul asked me if I would be interested in showing some art. I have exhibited work twice before at Cafe La Boheme. I like it a lot. It is the special type of Mission coffee shop that serves a truly mixed crowd, reliably doing so year after year. It’s at once removed from the furiously overcapitalized San Francisco hype machine while simultaneously situated right in its belly. The hype machine isn’t all bad, but it suffers from a tendency towards the homogenous. For my money, places that can mix it up like Boheme provide a valuable service that is hard to replicate. So I told Awad yes.
Running with the idea of my own personal billboard (an idea that has been emerging locally and nationwide, well discussed here by Willa K.2 ), I modified a few recent works to get my message out. As part of my plan to destroy the internet, this message is only intelligible in person. You can observe this effect below.
1incidentally, one of two local Palastinian-operated coffee shops.
2incidentally, one of two local neighbors who share opposite sides of a bedroom wall with me.
He often plays the peacemaker between McCain and the senators McCain has offended.
Character Profile at Root Division is installed, open, and ready for the masses.
It really couldn’t have turned out better. I am extremely proud of it.
The opening is this Saturday July 13, 7-10PM:
3175 17th Street (between Shotwell and South Van Ness)
With a performance by vocalist-violinist Dina Maccabee around 8:30
And to help that along, we’ve got some press. A delicious glossy spread in the July-August 7×7 magazine:
The post-Roger Ebert era likely will be less enjoyable and snappy, but we’ve got to try.
The April 2013 CityArt show is installed and open. This month I am experimenting with some heavy artillery. I would be honored if you stopped by this month to check it out in person. Thanks to EB for hanging helping.
Clockwise from top:
- Crossroads on Mount Tamalpais w/ Traffic Cone (Marin County, CA) | Unique screenprint on handmade canvas | 48×24 inches | 2012
Permanently installed in a special rustic pine frame.
2. Seal Rocks | Ocean Beach, San Francisco CA | Unique screenprint and ink on paper | 30 x 24 inches | 2013
140 lb watercolor paper. Archival mounted in a custom fir shadow box with double strength glass. Removable title plaque.
3. Something That Will Catch Their Eye | Unique screenprint and ink on oak tile | 16 x 16 inches | 2013
4. Michelle’s Print | Screenprint on Pine (2nd edition of 9) | 12 x 18 inches | 2013
The most violent show on TV, with 308 dead (or undead) bodies shown in the eight episodes.
I am most excited about a shadowbox prototype I slapped together for these Ocean Beach paper prints. Increasingly influenced by the impeccable eye of zMom as well as the practical concerns of selling scrap cardboard in a commercial art gallery, I am very slowly warming up to the concept of picture frames.
The primary concern is empirical. To me, the danger of presenting art behind a bunch of glass and mat board is that emphasizes the image over the physical. I don’t want people to approach this piece as a colorful picture of the California coastline. Much more preferable is an innate sense that comes from experiencing in person a luxuriously thick slab of paper with a surface textured in layers of saturated inks. Otherwise why not just print the shit out on my Epson and save $255 a month on studio rent?
That might not sound like a big deal, but in a world where there is no shortage of images–if anything, we live in a state of image overload–the more emphasis on the material properties of the art object the better. If I can’t smell, taste, or touch the art object, I hope to at least see it for what it is.
There is a need for visual artists working today to think of their work less as an image and more as an experience. This is partly for ego reasons and partly for the reason that not doing so would mean that there is no compelling reason for new visual art to exist.
Thought experiment: wouldn’t we be disappointed if we went to see the original Declaration of Independence in Washington and they had framed it in mat board? Anyone can Google the text or even an image of the Declaration of Independence, so why do we still go to the National Archives and wait in line for an hour? To see the physical ink on the original piece of parchment. It is a thrilling piece of paper to look at.
Cue the shadowbox! I feel like this is a very ideal solution, especially for paper work. That it is in essence a display case for a mere sheet piece of paper in a way serves to elevate the object in borderline absurd fashion (an exaggeration that has been thoroughly deconstructed in Twentieth century art). This particular shadow box might actually backfire, as it is made out of 3.5 inch-wide fir slats, casting a ridiculously long and possibly distracting shadow.
And I am still at a loss to make perfect miter joints.
Also: some new signage and an alternate take on yesterday’s teaser.
Many theaters were unable to sell even a single ticket, an embarrassment for the Communist Party.
Here is one of two 8-frame motion picture studies that I screenprinted on oak panels earlier this year. I’ve been contemplating this idea in a bunch of new written proposals, shopping it around for an opportunity to expand the project. The next step might look something like this. I think I may have just that opportunity this June. So I am getting excited.
I didn’t turn in the homework because I got confused about what the homework actually was, but now i understand it was the questions at the end of the chapter.
Here’s a preview of my latest series Eight Ideas at Ocean Beach. There are actually sixteen separate pieces–each with a corresponding idea at Ocean Beach–but the gallery wall only fits eight at a time and I do not want to confuse visitors. They will likely be confused enough about why I would print images of myself running around with a crazed look over a perfectly beautiful image.
I am calling this a screenprinted motion picture. I think that is legitimate because each piece is truly one frame in a film I shot for this project. Notice how the background scrolls from left to right? Notice how I lose my hat at the end? Notice how I am wearing a bathrobe? (It’s got an ideal shape for screenprinting). I feel excited about this new direction and my aim is to cultivate collaborations with directors, writers, and actors, costume folks. This time around, it’s just me though. Thanks to EB for filming.
The Ocean Beach Ideas are from my working list of phrases documented in these posts.
Come see them in person all month!
City Art February Show
Opening reception: Friday 2/1/13 7-10 PM
City Art Gallery
828 Valencia @ 20th. SF CA
The Case of the Shaven Head Case.
Some works in progress for my City Art debut on February 1st. These pieces are 16×16″ 3/4 inch thick oak panels.