Spring 2017 Contemporary Classrooms
In collaboration with an exhibiting SoEx artist or project
Teaching Artists: Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, Vreni Michelini Castillo
Southern Exposure's Contemporary Classrooms is an ongoing series of workshops that take place in SFUSD high school classrooms, formulated in collaboration with an exhibiting SoEx artist or project. This spring, the workshops respond to Southern Exposure's exhibition Sooner or Later: Non-Euclidean visions of the future as a place to be, with works by select Bay Area artists reflecting on the future as we imagine it. Serving youth from 16 local high schools, the workshops will use the concept of “imagined futures” as a starting point for high school art students to confront the future with their own ideas, facilitated by a SoEx Teaching Artist. With a deeper understanding of this concept, Contemporary Classroom participants are encouraged to attend the exhibition at Southern Exposure.
Workshop Learning Objectives:
Participants will engage in activities constructed around identity, technology, critical analysis, imagination and nonlinear storytelling of our role as citizens. They will be introduced to visual art practices that transcend Western-centric ideas about imagining and creating our collective future. Each class will begin with a physical exercise and a writing exercise about questions and concerns related to our present moment. Participants will develop their own visual scene of the future as they imagine it, and critically question the role of citizenship and the search for a new mode of existence.
About the Exhibition, Sooner or Later:
The artists in Sooner or Later present works that are more fiction than science, more about stories and visions than technology and data. Bonanza, Sofia Córdova, Jader, Grace Rosario Perkins, and Richard-Jonathan Nelson work in a speculative vein from a variety of perspectives. From the raw material of what is and what has been, they create diverse and complex visions of what could be. By turns hopeful and dismal, acutely funny and emphatically human, they cast spells of influence over our imagined future and, in so doing, turn a critical eye on our present.
About the Teaching Artists:
Zulfikar Ali Bhutto is an artist and educator of mixed Pakistani and Lebanese descent. He has worked as a teacher in both Pakistan and the U.S. and sees education as a way of broadening our perspectives of art’s role in a so-called ‘globalized world.’ His work explores complex identity politics formed by centuries of colonialism and exacerbated by contemporary international politics. He is interested in issues of state violence and how that violence resonates in our collective memory, how it forms and shapes communities and by extension how it affects the individual.
Vreni Michelini Castillo has been an artist, educator, musician, emcee, writer, traditional Mexican medicine bruja, and cultural organizer since 2007. She holds a BFA from Virginia Commonwealth University and an MFA from UC Berkeley. Her current multimedia work deals with decolonial living, contemporary Indigenous spirituality, queerness, migrant empowerment and the reconstruction of the womyn temple. She focuses on community enrichment through cultural organizing through two of her collectives, Brujalyfe and Aguas Migrantes, and by dancing with the Indigenous group Calpulli Huey Papalotl.