Making a Scene

Torreya Cummings, Bessma Khalaf, and The Center for Tactical Magic develop new projects on site

Making a Scene

Torreya Cummings, Strange Familiars (or Non-Daguerreian Anti-Portrait Studio for Local Types)
Bessma Khalaf, Invisible Thief
The Center for Tactical Magic, Bank Heist Contest

Friday, October 5 – Saturday, October 27, 2012

Artists' Receptions: Wednesdays, October 10, 17, & 24, 2012, 6:00 – 9:00 PM
Public Hours: Wednesday, 3:00 – 9:00 PM & Thursday – Saturday, 12:00 – 6:00 PM

Throughout the month of October, Torreya Cummings, Bessma Khalaf, and The Center for Tactical Magic take up residency at Southern Exposure to develop new projects on site. Each of these artists plays with the mundane and the magical in transformative or risky experiments that provoke their viewers to performative, unexpected and humorous acts. During their three-week projects, the artists invite participants to engage in unexpected and performative ways as they develop new bodies of work and build on installations in process. Three writers have been selected to respond to the artists’ unfolding work. Southern Exposure will publish and distribute these essays to reflect on the projects after they conclude.

Torreya Cummings creates a portrait studio inspired by daguerreotype portraiture of the 19th century for her project, Strange Familiars (or Non-Daguerreian Anti-Portrait Studio for Local Types). Participants can make an appointment for a sitting with Cummings, who works closely with them to develop a new and fantastic hybrid identity. In the resulting photographs, the subject is transformed, borrowing traits from character tropes found in Western movies as well as contemporary San Francisco culture and subcultures. Appointments for sittings are available at 6, 7 or 8pm on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, October 9, 10, 16, 17, or 23, 24, 2012, or at 2, 3, or 4pm on Saturdays, October 6, 13, 20, or 27, 2012. Call 415.863.2141 or email [email protected]soex.org to reserve a time.

For Invisible Thief, Bessma Khalaf creates a charged environment in which to shoot a new series of photographs with the participation of viewers and visitors. Khalaf will be working in the gallery throughout the project.

For Bank Heist Contest, The Center for Tactical Magic invites the public to imagine the possibility of a successful bank heist. $1000 will be given as a reward to the best proposal. The contest is ongoing throughout the course of the project, during which the artist will lead participants in workshops, presentations, and films to provide inspiration for their developing proposals. Writer and former bank robber, Joe Loya, will give a talk on October 17, 2012, 7:00 - 9:00 PM (more details here). The Center for Tactical Magic will lead a Bank Heist Contest Proposal Workshop on October 27, 2012, from 2:00 – 4:00 PM (more details here). The project will conclude in 2013 with an award ceremony for the winner of the Bank Heist Contest. Proposals are due January 31, 2013 at high noon.

Because visitor engagement is critical to each of the artists' projects, Southern Exposure has scheduled specific hours to encourage participation. Every Wednesday from 6 to 9 pm and Saturday from 12 to 6 PM, all artists will be present at Southern Exposure, and viewers can work with them to schedule portraits, develop heist proposals, or engage with their installations and photographs. Wednesday evenings are also receptions in celebration of the artists. In addition to these specified times, SoEx will be open Wednesday, 3:00 – 9:00 and Thursday – Saturday, 12:00 – 6:00 pm, and artists can be found working in Southern Exposure's space at various times throughout the project.