Jessica Hagedorn; photo: Renee Montagne
Paul Pfeiffer; photo: Joey Trisolini, courtesy Paul Pfeiffer Studio

Jessica Hagedorn and Paul Pfeiffer in conversation

Moderated by Eungie Joo

Related Exhibition Pacita Abad

Thursday, Oct 19, 2023

6 p.m.

Floor 1, Phyllis Wattis Theater

Free with RSVP

Reserve Tickets

On the occasion of the first major retrospective of Pacita Abad’s work, Paul Pfeiffer and Jessica Hagedorn will discuss the context of San Francisco as a nexus of cultural activity for international and diasporic artists like Abad in the 1970s and 80s. Eungie Joo, curator and head of contemporary art at SFMOMA, will moderate the conversation. During her lifetime, Abad (b. 1946, Basco, Philippines, d. 2004, Singapore) produced thousands of works, including her signature trapunto paintings — stuffed, quilted canvases Abad adorned with materials and methods she investigated during her lifetime. Pacita Abad features more than forty daring trapuntos and other works by the beloved artist.

About the Speakers

Jessica Hagedorn is the author of Dogeaters, The Gangster Of Love, Dream Jungle, Toxicology, and Danger And Beauty. She has edited three major anthologies: Manila Noir, Charlie Chan Is Dead: An Anthology Of Contemporary Asian American Fiction, and Charlie Chan Is Dead 2: At Home In The World. Plays and screenplays include Fresh Kill, Most Wanted, and the stage adaptation of Dogeaters. Jessica has collaborated and performed with many amazing artists and ensembles, including Thought Music, Campo Santo, Shu Lea Cheang, Han Ong, Blondell Cummings, and The Gangster Choir. Honors and awards include a Guggenheim Fellowship and the Rome Prize for Literature.

Paul Pfeiffer is a New York City artist who has been making work in video, photography, installation, and sculpture since the late 1990s. Known for his innovative manipulation of digital media, Pfeiffer recasts the visual language of mass media spectacle to examine how images shape our awareness of ourselves and the world. Pfeiffer has had many one-person exhibitions at institutions including the Whitney Museum of American Art (2001); the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (2003 and 2017–18); the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne (2005); MUSAC León, Spain (2008); Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin (2009); Sammlung Goetz, Munich (2011); Museum of Contemporary Art and Design, Manila (2015); Inhotim, Brumadinho, Brazil (2018); and The Athenaeum, Athens, GA (2023). The first large-scale retrospective of his work in the U.S. opens at The Geffen Contemporary at LA MOCA in November 2023.

Eungie Joo’s curatorial practice focuses on the present and includes considered thinking about discursive and performative practices as well as the commission of new projects and residencies. She has published numerous essays on artistic practices including that of Tuan Andrew Nguyen, Cinthia Marcelle, Tanya Lukin Linklater, Adrián Villar Rojas, Margaret Kilgallen, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Mark Bradford, and Kara Walker, among others. Joo served as a curatorial advisor to the 2022 Aichi Triennale: Still Alive; artistic director of the 5th Anyang Public Art Project/APAP 5 (2016); curator of Sharjah Biennial 12: The past, the present, the possible (2015); curator of the 2012 New Museum Generational Triennial: The Ungovernables; and commissioner of the Korean Pavilion at the 53rd Venice Biennale, where she presented Condensation: Haegue Yang (2009). Joo is curator and head of contemporary art at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

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Accessibility Information

Accessible seating is available at this event.

Accessibility accommodations such as American Sign Language (ASL) interpretation and assisted listening devices are available upon request ten business days in advance. Please email publicengagement@sfmoma.org, and we will do our best to fulfill your request.


Support for Public Programs and Artist Talks at SFMOMA is provided by the Phyllis C. Wattis Distinguished Lecture Series.

Pacita Abad is organized by the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis.

Presenting support for Pacita Abad at SFMOMA is provided by the Neal Benezra Exhibition Fund.

Major support is provided by the Mary Jane Elmore West Coast Exhibition Fund, The Elaine McKeon Endowed Exhibition Fund, the Stuart G. Moldaw Public Program and Exhibition Fund, Rummi and Arun Sarin Painting and Sculpture Fund.

Generous support is provided by Pat Wilson.

The Walker Art Center organized the exhibition with major support provided by Martha and Bruce Atwater; Ford Foundation; the Henry Luce Foundation; the Martin and Brown Foundation; Rosemary and Kevin McNeely, Manitou Fund; and the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.

Exhibition curated by Victoria Sung, Phyllis C. Wattis Senior Curator at Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA), and former associate curator, Visual Arts, Walker Art Center; with Matthew Villar Miranda, curatorial associate at BAMPFA, and former curatorial fellow, Visual Arts, Walker Art Center. SFMOMA’s presentation is organized by Eungie Joo, curator and head of contemporary art, and Nancy Lim, associate curator, painting and sculpture.