Monday, April 07, 2003

Well, first day back in London and it is a bit grim compared to San Francisco: I want to be back!
The last day of the exhibition was hectic including for Brian Wasson and Kiernan Griffin who came to install their work.

Did a "curator's notes" for Spanganga gallery as they will keep the works on until the 23rd April, Fridays to Sundays 6 to 10 pm.
It doesn't summarise the show, but what's left of it:

"THE CENTER OF ATTENTION SEARCH ENGINE AT SPANGANGA:

The search is now complete and has returned 8 results.
Results 1 to 8 of 8:

1 AMANDA HUGHEN
… inspired by mass-produced versus the unique, painting v. sculpture, intuitive v. the rational, synthetic v. the natural…

2 LAURA BALL
…retouching of found images, cowboys become cowgirls and play spills into hostility…

3 SETH DAMM
… reacting to and realigning elements in the environment, highlighting other elements within the space, Seth’s work confounds the…

4 MAIKO SUGANO
…objects as symbols of emotional states collected and re-evaluated using a subjective hierarchical classification system. A glass bead game which…

5 KIERNAN GRIFFIN
…staged photographs reveal what appears to be a bad actor in a sublime drama…

6 BRIAN WASSON
… art lottery. Just pay your money and take your chances. The picture will be revealed…

7 VIDEO LIBRARY
… video art works or documentation of works, a 7-element collection left by the curators for visitors to view…

8 DOCUMENTATION
…for those who missed the exhibition, the paper trail seems to give clues to the works considered, places visited. An inexact record of the curators wanderings…

WWW.THE CENTREOFATTTENTION.ORG"

Saturday, March 29, 2003


Went downtown to visit the Gap collection of fine art at their HQ, Calder to Gursky with Warhol, Kiefer...lunch in Southpark.
Back at the ranch... Amanda Hughen's wall based work and Maiko Sugano's structure was installed. Managed to attend the opening of Exhbition Game at SFAC GAllery, a show at the LAb and the Peace Show at Adobe Books.



Friday, March 28, 2003

Yesterday was the busiest day so far with studios visits at CCAC and artists constantly bringing work to the gallery. CCAC have got very impressive facilities on 8th and the open plan approach certainly seems to create the right atmosphere. We saw more than 20 studios there, trying to get to the core of what each artist is doing in 10 minutes! Quite a challenge and of course not always fair. In the afternoon, Laura Ball, our first artist selected brought down her painting. We also sent offers to another 2 artists. More work should be arriving later on today.

Thursday, March 27, 2003

Have spoken to a wide variety of artists, gallerists & curators. Lots of creativity and ideas but a very wide variety of quality. Seeing a lot of 'Memory and Loss' and 'Autobiography'.
Seems to be a homeless problem in SFO. But the Dome of City Hall looks nice and burritos are neat.

Wednesday, March 26, 2003

Yesterday it was Breakfast at Berkeley before going on to visit studios at El Cerito of students on the MFA program. Back at Spanganga, artists, ideas and suggestions kept on coming.
In the evening, over buritos we made our first few selections before heading over to Somarts.
This morning we started with coffee at Hunter's Point' very own Dago Mary's before a tour round the studios and the site (thanks to our guide). This is the largest artist colony in the states.
Back at the gallery, appointments are filling up.

Tuesday, March 25, 2003

After a trip around the bay we looked in at a few galleries including the new lola Gallery space in Mission. Back at our space artists came down to talk to us suggest studios and artist and galleries to see. Response is keeping us busy. Off to Berkeley now. back at spanganga at 3pm
This is Gary O signing off.

Monday, March 24, 2003

I enjoyed the private view last night, though in retrospect we should try not to go head to head with the Oscars next time!
Abner did a great job preparing the gallery which looked immaculately empty.
A few artists brought some work, some brought images or slides to see, websites to view at a later stage, but I think the majority came to check it out and will pop in this week when it is quieter. Kenneth Baker, the Art Critic from the San Francisco Chronicle was there and will be following us on some of our visits. The week is starting to pan itself out with visits to Lola Gallery in Mission today, Berkeley tomorrow, CCAC on Thursday and a few artists studios, including possibly Hunters Point later in the week.

Sunday, March 23, 2003

Both Gary and I are in SF now. Great weather. Anti war protests everyday down Market street. We met yesterday with Abner Nolan who runs the gallery space to go through the logistics of things. I like the space and the area which is like a Mexican Dalston. The opening is in 3 hours and of course the gallery is still completely empty. We've had a few approaches already from individual artists and are also down to visit the Berkeley MFA students on Tuesday morning. We've been round a few gallery spaces to get our barings, but work is really starting from tonight!

Friday, March 07, 2003

That's the start:

Opening and Press Reception: Sunday 23 March 2003, 6 pm to 8 pm
Exhibition continues everyday thru Sunday 30 March 2003 everyday 3 to 8 pm
at Spanganga Gallery, 3376 19th Street, San Francisco, CA.


The Centre of Attention is a non-commercial independent contemporary art gallery based in London, UK.
In the past year, it has shown a mix of established artists such as Sylvie Fleury, Jenny Holzer, Ken Friedman (Fluxus West) and Genesis P-Orridge, as well as many young emerging European and American artists.
Through its programme of exhibitions such as 'Email Art', 'The Centre of Attention Art Prize', its annual Magazine or its film screening events, the Center constantly tries to redefine what makes a contemporary art gallery.

From 23 March to 30 March 2003, the Center moves to the land of Google and Yahoo! to present: "the Center of Attention Search Engine" at Spanganga Gallery, 3376 19th Street, San Francisco, CA.

Some people have already described the 'Center of Attention Search Engine' as the contemporary art bastard child of 'Antiques Roadshow' and 'American Idol'.

To the more highbrow cultural observer however, this forthcoming San Francisco exhibition will underline the contemporary art gallery as a non space-specific organisation and address the activity of a gallery as a search engine, namely through its selection and curatorial process.

No work will be transported over from Europe and the exhibition launches with an empty gallery space. During gallery hours, starting the 23rd March, an open submission operation will be in process, with artists bringing in work to be discussed with them before being accepted or rejected for the show. Outside gallery hours, the Center's curators will scour the city, its artists' studios, art colleges, talking to people in cafes and cultural spaces with a view to finding the most interesting work.
The exhibition is at once a performance as well as a survey of work to be found in the City: with the unique quality that visitors see the making of the exhibition; they can come back daily to check the progress; they can follow the curator's visits; they can make suggestions.

The end of the show will paradoxically mark the completion of the process i.e. the achievement of a satisfying exhibition to present to the public. The completed show although seen by few in reality will be documented for publication on the web.