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CCA@CCA Archive | Spring 2024

Last updated on Apr 10, 2024


Creative Citizens in Action Exhibition | The Creative Citizens in Action Exhibition (March 7–8, 2024) featured work by CCA students and faculty that visually complemented The Materiality of Resistance Symposium, a convening of writers, artists, designers, curators, and archivists to consider historical and contemporary stories where the materiality of making contributes to socio-cultural change. Dispersed throughout CCA’s Nave, the installations, project presentations, and workshops were the combined result of an open call for student work and faculty-directed curricular collaborations. Organized by the Creative Citizens in Action initiative (CCA@CCA), in collaboration with the History of Art and Visual Culture program, CCA faculty, students, and staff, this exhibition connected the symposium to the Deborah and Kenneth Novack Creative Citizens Series, an annual series of public programs focused on creative activism.

Lorenzo Balbi: A Possible Model for the “Materiality” of Museums

Organized by the Curatorial Practice program & CCA@CCA

The global context of the pandemic has confronted us with the necessity and the possibility of thinking about alternative models for the museum, which is now required to take a clear position and assume responsibility for the needs of the community it represents by sharing its available resources and spaces. These prerogatives have led to the creation of the Nuovo Forno del Pane at the MAMbo – Museum of Modern Art in Bologna, a possible new museum model: no longer a home for artwork, but a production space for artists, a forge for new artwork, an incubator for new projects through which to experiment with a more radical and direct museology.

The project for the Nuovo Forno del Pane is based on three key concepts, designed to overturn the museum's canonical "scheme" of action and present a "sign", a different model from the canonical one revolving around exhibitions and collections, more open and with artists and spaces at the center of the creative process:

  1. the production of art as an operational and research tool
  2. the construction of a community of reference
  3. self-training as a shared practice of growth and provision of equipment and skills.

In the first instance, this model envisages a shift from the idea of the museum as an "exhibition" institution to one that is instead "productive", an aspect that sees a necessary re-engagement of the public in different ways, in line with the theories and experiments of various scholars and museums in recent decades.

Lorenzo Balbi is the artistic director of MAMbO – Museo d’Arte Moderna di Bologna, and head of the Modern and Contemporary Art department of the Bologna Musei Institution. After a degree in Cultural Heritage Conservation at Ca’ Foscari University in Venice, he specialized in Contemporary Art at the City University of Turin. From 2006 to 2017 Lorenzo taught "Methodology of Curatorship" at Campo Corso di Studi E Pratiche Curatoriali, which focused on training young curators, and he coordinated the Residency for Young Foreign Curators at Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, among other exhibiting projects.

This lecture took place on March 7, 2024, and was a featured event of the Materiality of Resistance Symposium. It co-sponsored by CCA's Curatorial Practice Program and funded by an endowment gift to support The Deborah and Kenneth Novack Creative Citizens Series at CCA, an annual series of public programs focused on creative activism.

Belonging is an Act of Resistance

Julia Grinkrug, Dorothy Lazard, and Tricia Brand

Organized by Julia Grinkrug, Adjunct II, Architecture Program

On February 29th, 2024, Julia Grinkrug, Adjunct II, Architecture Program; Tricia Brand, VP of DEIB; and other members of the CCA community joined Dorothy Lazard in conversation about the urgency of belonging in the time of extreme polarization and radicalism. In recent years, intangible concepts such as belonging, place and community have become tokenized, hollowed of meaning and filled with political agendas. They are becoming buzzwords that draw people apart rather than bring them together. To counter this narrative, Oakland-based cultural leader Dorothy Lazard shared her deeply rooted perspective and critical thinking about these concepts and their urgency today.

Dorothy Lazard is a writer, librarian, and public historian who played a major role in popularizing the Oakland Main Library's Oakland History Center by hosting lectures, mounting exhibits, writing articles about Oakland's history and assisting researchers exploring the city's history. After serving as a librarian for nearly 40 years, Lazard, who retired in 2021, has published a memoir about growing up in San Francisco and Oakland, What You Don’t Know Will Make a Whole New World. She is currently working on a book about the library as a public institution.

New Works: Sofía Córdova

Organized by the Graduate Fine Arts program & CCA@CCA

On Wednesday, February 7, the Graduate Fine Arts Program welcomed video and music artist Sofía Córdova for a lecture in Timken Hall.

Born in 1985 in Carolina, Puerto Rico and currently based in Oakland, California, Sofía Córdova makes work that considers sci-fi as alternative history, dance music's liberatory dimensions, colonial contamination, climate change and migration, and most recently, revolution - historical and imagined - within the matrix of class, gender, race, late capitalism and its technologies. She works in performance, video, sound, music, installation, photography, and sometimes taxidermy. She is also one half of the music duo and experimental sound outfit XUXA SANTAMARIA.

Her work has been exhibited and performed internationally at The Whitney Museum of American Art, Tufts University Galleries, SFMOMA, the Arizona State University Museum, The Buffalo Institute for Contemporary Art, The Vincent Price Museum, the Wattis Institute, and YBCA (USA), as well as the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo (Puerto Rico), Art Hub (China) and MEWO Kunsthalle (Germany). The same is part of The Whitney’s, The Kadist’s, and Pier 24’s permanent collections. She has participated in residencies at Eyebeam, New York, Headlands Center for the Arts, Sausalito, Mills College Museum, Oakland, and the ASU Museum in Phoenix and composed and choreographed performances for the SF Arts Commission, Merce Cunningham Trust and Soundwave Biennial. Her work has been featured in Art in America and Aperture magazines. She is a recipient of a Creative Work Fund, a Fundación Ama Amoedo Grant and most recently of both Artadia and Creative Capital Awards.

This event was funded, in part, by an endowment gift to support The Deborah and Kenneth Novack Creative Citizens Series at CCA, an annual series of public programs focused on creative activism.

Ismail Lumanovski & Inspector Gadje, Live at CCA

2024 CCA@CCA Faculty Coordinator Nilgun Bayraktar (Associate Professor, History of Art and Visual Culture)

Inspector Gadje_CCA.jpg

On Friday, February 2, the extraordinary clarinetist Ismail Lumanovski and Inspector Gadje Balkan Brass Band performed a live concert in Timken Hall.

Ismail Lumanovski is a musical force of passion and dynamic virtuosity. Already of international distinction, Lumanovski has launched a major career as a soloist, chamber musician in both classical and Balkan styles. Blending the fiery spirit of folk music with the discipline of classical music, his performances throughout the United States, Europe, the Middle East, Korea and China have received uproarious critical acclaim. Lumanovski performs internationally, leads the New York Gypsy Allstars, and is perhaps the first Roma clarinet player to graduate from the Juilliard School of Music in New York. Time Out New York remarked that he’s "A showboat of a performer . . . an adventurous, modern-minded front man," while the New York Times has waxed poetic about his musical prowess. 

With up to 14 musicians (12 horns and 2 percussionists), Bay Area-San Francisco-based Inspector Gadje brings a big sound to the beautiful and bumpin’ brass band music of the Balkans of south-eastern Europe. Hearing Inspector Gadje is love at first listen. The driving, tight groove of low brass and drums with soaring melodies from trumpets, saxophones, and clarinet incite joy and dance from the very first downbeat. Inspector Gadje ignites the dance floor and makes the party wherever they play, be it clubs (including notable venues such as the MGM Arena, Fox Theater, Palace Of Fine Arts, The Independent, Ashkenaz, Café du Nord, The New Parish, Rickshaw Stop, and Yoshi’s to name a few) weddings, parties, and street festivals. Original inspiration for the group came from many years of collaboration between the Brass Liberation Orchestra (BLO), a progressive social activist street band, and the Voice of Roma, a non-profit organization that supports Romani community and cultural causes world-wide. 

This event was presented in conjunction with The Materiality of Resistance, a two-day symposium exploring the artistic deployment of materials as tools to imagine, promote, and enact resistance to the status quo in American art and visual culture. The performance was funded by an endowment gift to support The Deborah and Kenneth Novack Creative Citizens Series at CCA, an annual series of public programs focused on creative activism.

🎥 Watch collaborations between Ismail Lumanovski and Inspector Gadje on Inspector Gadje's YouTube channel →

Inspector Gadje

How to Cross A Border


Organized by Sholeh Asgary, Adjunct II, First Year Core Studio Program

The exhibition, How to Cross A Border, was on view March 7–8, 2024 at the Wattis Institute for Contemporary Art, as part of The Materiality of Resistance Symposium, a two-day symposium exploring the artistic deployment of materials as tools to imagine, promote, and enact resistance to the status quo in American art and visual culture. How to Cross A Border showcased work by Sholeh Asgary’s current and former 4D students, centered on the themes of borders, loops, and imprints. It sought to explore and redefine border spaces through various mediums, comprising a catalog of graphic scores for visitor interaction, video, and sound loops. The exhibition was structured into three main components: print, image, and sound.

Underneath the graphics scores were zines for visitors to take and interact with the scores; on a separate wall was a kinetic graphic score, two video installations (accompanied by headphones), and a separate device emitting continuous audio loops throughout the space (indicated by a graphite ear symbol on a blank wall).

View the graphic score zine →

Watch one of the video installations, ciudad de estrellas by Angie Vargas, below and on YouTube →

Large-Scale Installations


Organized by Jaime Austin, Director of Exhibitions and Public Programs

The Creative Citizens in Action Exhibition featured site-specific installations by the following CCA students:

  • Sara Cruz (BFA Sculpture)
  • Sean Cullen (BFA Fashion Design)
  • Benjamin Eckert (BFA Sculpture)
  • Zedekiah Gonsalves Schild (MFA Fine Arts)

plus paintings by Cindy Zhang (BFA Painting and Drawing).

📸 View more images of the Creative Citizens in Action Exhibition →

Ink on Paper for Food for Thought: Poster Design as Direct Action


Organized by Michael Wertz, Chair, Illustration

The Bay Area has a rich history of pre-internet political discourse, direct action and positive cultural change based on the experience of posters plastered on street signs and on buildings. In San Francisco, in 2024, we are exploring the poster as a tool to imagine, promote, and enact resistance to the status quo in America (and beyond). We asked the artists in the Illustrated Poster class to consider the theme of Resistance as inspiration, and then asked them to deepen their investigations: “What do you stand for instead of against? Can you harness your power as Designers, Illustrators and Printers to advocate for marginalized communities and individuals? What happens when you encounter one of these posters on the street?”

Participating students: Adora Ozieblo, Asa Kittner, Dartagnan Parsons, Dominique Du, Hiromi Lee, Kaelie Taylor, Kelly Young, Maya Makino, Mo Diedrich, Ruichen Yang, Sayuri Bronstein, Thalia Martinez Bobadilla, William Choi

📸 View more images of the Creative Citizens in Action Exhibition →

Global Girl Cultures Afternoon Tea!


Organized by Dr. Melinda Luisa de Jesús, Associate Professor, Critical Ethnic Studies

In two back-to-back Afternoon Tea sessions on Thursday, March 7, students from GIRL CULTURE invited symposium attendees and the CCA community to discuss girl power and the specific challenges facing girls around the world. Reclaiming the idea of the little girls’ tea party, our Afternoon Tea showcased student art and research about global girl cultures. Student organizers offered tea, snacks, and stimulating conversation to foster learning about girls’ studies and girls’ resistance.

Participating students: Ying Chen, Nitya Cheruku, Julie Du, Nariah Gillett, Jerry Huang, Amy Jiang, Robin Larisch, Primrose Lu, Luna Mae Lupine, Lauren McGee, Kaeli Mcleod, Claudia Nunez, MC Payen, Kainoa Rocamora, Brenda Sanchez, Maya Vaughan, Rex Wallia, Xinhao Zhou

📸 View more images of the Creative Citizens in Action Exhibition →

Expandable Rainbow Pride Flag


Organized by John de Fazio, Senior Adjunct Professor, Ceramics Program

A tribute to Laura Ann Carleton who was killed over hanging a Rainbow Pride Flag at her store in Cedar Glen, CA in August 2023.

The Rainbow Pride Flag was first created in San Francisco by Gilbert Baker in 1978, and commissioned by martyred Supervisor Harvey Milk to represent the LGBT community. Five decades later, it has spread throughout the world as a symbol of Queer Pride featured in public parades and as a personal signifier of visibility. Yet today, Russia has banned the Rainbow Pride Flag as promoting illegal Extremist Activism that is receiving jail time. Allies have used the Rainbow Flag as a marker of a safe environment and it is in this spirit of Inclusion that the Queer Super Objects class has chosen to express their solidarity.

Participating students: Annalise Cole, Aris Ruff, Robin Larish, Qianyi Lin, Coli Drechsel, Iso Donoso, Nya Serano, Malcolm Christie, Sara Cruz, Kya Higgins, Maiya Brown, Briana Gordon, Anna Qian, August Smith, Alena Urban

📸 View more images of the Creative Citizens in Action Exhibition →

Tactile Bliss ©

Tactile Bliss

Organized by Lucia Fagen-DeLuca, Adjunct II Professor, History of Art and Visual Culture Program

Decenter vision and focus on the haptic. Texturally transgress the 2-D plane. Here neuro-non-normative ways of analogue making, of resisting through merely existing, provide new sensory ways of knowing. We give neuro-normative people the chance to expand their experience of the sensorial. A respite for the public to pet, to touch, to interact with, to enjoy, to lean on, to tell secrets to, to pray on, to love, to feel, and to enjoy the pleasure of the haptic in peace–we resist the pull of letters, words, and language itself. Materiality IS itself a way to resist textual and monolingual borders. A response to the historically marginalizing spaces of educational institutions, this non-verbal peaceful comfort wall resists the pain and suffering of hateful discourse. All attempts to box in modes of knowing, being, feeling, and existing are met instead with generosity as we collectively offer a public monument to haptic joy and sensorial pleasure. Inquiry, interaction, and individual private experience in a quiet public space allow introspection, kindness, and care.

Participating Students: VII Void, Jessy, Jade, Eloise, Leona, Nicole, Vivian, Cell, Xinyu, Max, Mars, Sebatian, Zoe, PJ, Miguel

📸 View more images of the Creative Citizens in Action Exhibition →