David Wilson: Arrivals
David Wilson's works on paper and performance-based pieces explore what he describes as "the many lost corners and in-between stretches of natural and developed space" in Northern California. He has organized events at such locations as Angel Island, Wildcat Canyon, and the Marin Headlands. Whether he is working in large groups or in one-on-one exchanges, Wilson's ephemeral projects often involve collaboration with a rich community of musicians, filmmakers, and other artists. He frequently announces his participatory gatherings and site-specific installations through invitations that include folded maps with directions and sketches meant to guide attendees to carefully composed situations. The performative and social aspect of his work stems from repeated, solitary visits to an area, which are reflected in the plein air studies he creates in drawing and watercolor on found paper.
David Wilson's Arrivals (2013), a series of six self-guided journeys to outdoor sites throughout San Francisco, begins at a reclaimed redwood trailhead in front of the closed SFMOMA museum building at 151 Third Street. Approximately every two weeks, the artist will leave new takeaway maps there. Each map will provide instructions for the experience and lead visitors to sites where Wilson and his collaborators have recorded songs, music, and sound-based performances. Participants are invited to listen to these recordings upon locating a tape player at each of the sites. The performances draw in part from In Song Sing On (2012-ongoing), a publication project for sing-alongs Wilson is producing in collaboration with artist Colter Jacobsen. Creating a sense of shared intimacy despite distance, Arrivals facilitates a private listening experience that connects each individual with both the performers and with fellow future audience members.
The first map leads visitors to a eucalyptus grove in the Presidio, where the artist has installed an elaborate, sixteen-foot-high ink drawing that will be on view throughout the exhibition. Spread over twenty-four sheets of paper, it depicts Frog Woman Rock, a landmark rock formation in the Russian River Canyon in Northern California that the artist associates with expectation and arrival. Over the course of the exhibition, Wilson will regularly develop new sites and drawings in different corners of the city, from freeways to alleys. "I've tried to find areas with a sense of autonomy and privacy, that have a beautiful, forgotten quality," he says. "They are often places whose jurisdiction is in a gray zone, and maybe you can feel like it's yours for a minute."
Specific walking and public transportation instructions are indicated on the takeaway maps.
151 Third Street
San Francisco, CA 94103
Visitors can pick up maps at the trailhead in front of the closed SFMOMA building. New maps will be available as follows:
September 14 - November 17
Arrivals - Map 1: Presidio
September 23 - October 7
Arrivals - Map 2: Chinatown
October 7 - October 28
Arrivals - Map 3: Warm Water Cove via The Balloon Lady
October 28 - November 17
Arrivals - Map 4: Bernal Hill
November 4 - November 17
Arrivals - Map 5: Potrero Hill
November 17, 10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Arrivals - Map 6: South of Market
The event at the final location is presented as part of Live Projects 2: SECA Art Award.
Map 1: The Cemetery Connector Trail, which leads to the first site, located east of the Presidio National Cemetery Overlook, is not wheelchair accessible.
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Major support for the 2012 SECA Art Award: Zarouhie Abdalian, Josh Faught, Jonn Herschend, David Wilson is provided by SECA (Society for the Encouragement of Contemporary Art), an SFMOMA art interest group. Generous support is provided by Carlie Wilmans. Additional support is provided by the SECA Circle of Friends.