The Spring 2023 PLAySPACE Program
PLAySPACE, The Paulette Long and Shepard Pollack Art Community Experiment, is a graduate student-run exhibition program currently located in the back of the Nave of CCA's Main Building at 1111 Eighth Street, San Francisco. The program provides the resources for student artists and curators to conceptualize and present programming that is oriented toward the academic community. PLAySPACE was founded by CCA's Graduate Program in Curatorial Practice in 2005 and is currently administered by the Exhibitions & Public Programs department.
March 2–April 14 | F*CK!
Sex culture as a thematic subject in contemporary art feels like something more often suggested and never seen, wherein the explicit is not often made such. The physical elements of sexuality, kink, fetish, and sexual experience through a tone of simultaneous rawness, honesty, and humor is a unique framework that is not often represented. Radical spaces for sex, sexual expression, and sexual experiences are innate to, and often considered inseparable from, the queer experience. F*CK! seeks to represent these radically queer sexual experiences from multiple positions, juxtaposing a historical, documentary representation of queer sexual experience represented through ephemera of San Francisco’s gay scene, alongside a contemporary fine arts expression of queer kink culture and sexual experiences.
The artistic work of Chrissa Chorvat (MFA Fine Arts) prods the relationship between pleasure and pain, articulating the abject complexities of desire across various mediums including borosilicate glass, print, and multimedia sculpture. The ephemeral memorabilia objects such as fliers and advertising posters for queer nightlife, provided by Auto Erotica, located in the historic Castro district, represent materialized traces of the queer experience of leather culture and S&M unique to San Francisco.
We want to extend a special thank you to Auto Erotica for graciously loaning pieces from their collection to this exhibition. Auto Erotica is a store in San Francisco’s Castro neighborhood that buys and sells gay and gay-related memorabilia and ephemera. Their work functions to both conserve and archive the gay experience through material cultural objects. Their collection spans photography, pins/buttons, bar/club posters, t-shirts, early magazines, gay travel guides, artwork, coffee table books, catalogs, journals, and other ephemera.
Auto Erotica is open from 11-6, Monday through Saturday at 4077A 18th St, San Francisco, CA 94114 in the Castro.
Alongside our exhibition, we have created a website which serves as both a digital archive of the show, and a vessel for integral related elements including our catalog, exhibition images and information, community resources, and press.
Our digital catalog is a space of conversation wherein the artists’ and exhibition’s themes are expanded, challenged, and pushed further by its contributors. It oscillates between the subjective personal narratives and historical accounts of queer kink and nightlife cultures in San Francisco through creative non-fiction contributions from Sloane Holzer (MFA Writing & MA Visual Critical Studies ‘25) and a deeper dive into the included artworks by Sam Hiura (MA Curatorial Practice & MA Visual Critical Studies ‘25).
San Francisco has one of the richest histories of queer activism, which is a legacy we are lucky to inherit. To ground our exhibition within our immediate community, we felt it was important to highlight local, San Francisco-based LGBTQ+ resources and institutions. Spanning queer-run art galleries focusing in queer and underrepresented artists to grassroots development organizations catering to the queer and trans AAPI communities, we hope to spotlight a brief but diverse group of organizations within our own communities.
Website and graphics designed by Joel Lithgow and Sam Hiura.
About the Directors
Samantha Hiura (she/her) is a first year graduate student in CCA’s dual degree program for Visual and Critical Studies (MA) and Curatorial Practice (MA). Her academic and professional focuses are centered on contemporary art as forms of resistance, with particular interest in the intersections of queer and BIPOC representation. She holds a BA in Humanities and Art History with departmental honors from Seattle University. She has previously worked at Chihuly Garden and Glass in Seattle, and is currently working at CCA Exhibition’s new galleries as well as alongside CCA’s Curatorial Practice program as the Communications Assistant.
Megan Kelly (she/her) is the 2022-2023 Graduate Curatorial Fellow at the Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts and first year student in CCA’s Curatorial Practice (MA) program. Prior to joining CCA, she held multiple administrative positions at universities in her hometown, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, including Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts (PAFA) and University of Pennsylvania's Weitzman School of Design. Megan is dedicated to creating a platform to promote contemporary artists, with an emphasis on supporting queer and BIPOC artists. She holds a BFA in Photography from the University of the Arts and studied Art History in the post-baccalaureate program at the University of Pennsylvania.