The ongoing exhibition at MFA, What Is An Edition, Anyway?is nearing the end of its run, closing September 7th. Since its opening, this group exhibition has been or will be presenting artworks from the McEvoy Family Collection and the collection of Thomas Cvikota alongside new and commissioned projects by Enrique Chagoya, Daniel Clowes, Ala Ebtekar, Jonn Herschend, Stephanie Syjuco, and Hank Willis Thomas. Alison O’Daniel: The Tuba Thieves, a related daily video program guest organized by Tanya Zimbardo, features works that explore acts of listening and producing sound.
The Tuba Thieves is both a feature-length film in progress that Los Angeles-based artist O’Daniel has been shooting and an expanding project of mixed-media installations, sculptures, and performances. This half-hour program highlights two scenes that reimagine legendary concerts: the 1952 premiere of John Cage’s 4’33” performed by David Tudor in Woodstock, New York, and a 1979 punk show and closing party for the Deaf Club in San Francisco, hosted by Bruce Conner. The poetic captioning in the third fictionalized narrative, Scene 55: The Plants Are Protected (2013), foregrounds her collaborative process of commissioning the deaf artist Christine Sun Kim to develop the soundtrack.
O’Daniel collaborates with hearing, Hard of Hearing, and Deaf composers, musicians, performers, and athletes in order to highlight the loss or re-creation of information as it passes through various channels. The Tuba Thieves takes its point of departure from a 2011 crime pattern of tuba robberies from several Los Angeles high school marching bands. O’Daniel saw the loss of this tonally-rich instrument as analogous to her experiences with being hard of hearing—missing and filling in the gaps of conversations.
What is an edition, anyway? is the Bay Area version of an exhibition of the same name co-curated by Cvikota and Susan Tallman for Chicago’s Mana Contemporary in 2018. Featuring limited-edition artists’ books, prints, album covers, film ephemera, and other objects dating from the mid-20th century to the present, the exhibition provides a historical context to editions-based practices while engaging six contemporary artists to contribute creative projects that reflect their personal interpretations of the concept.
The McEvoy Foundation For The Arts is located at 1150 25th Street, Building B, in San Francisco. More information about the Foundation and the exhibition can be had at [email protected] or at 415-580-7605.