Descriptive Acts

February 18–June 17, 2012

Language, performativity, and process are preoccupations for many contemporary artists. The works in Descriptive Acts engage with both text and image, foregrounding complex and often fraught acts of description, narration, translation, and communication. The exhibition is presented in two consecutive configurations: Act I (February 18 through April 15, 2012) features works by Aurélien Froment, Dora García, Shilpa Gupta, John Smith, and Tris Vonna-Michell; Act II (April 21 through June 17, 2012) highlights works by Anthony Discenza, Gupta, Lynn Marie Kirby and Li Xiaofei, Smith, and Vonna-Michell.

Tris Vonna-Michell video installation
installation detail, two young girls in dresses and man with back turned listening to headphones
Anthony Discenza installation view of person in corner doing backbend
crowd of people looking at projection on wall
Aurlien Froment, image of jellyfish in water
Lynn Marie Kirby and Li Xiaofei email screenshot
Lynn Marie Kirby and Li Xiaofei email screenshot

Tris Vonna-Michell, GTO: hahn / huhn, variation 1 (installation detail), 2010; slide projector, two-channel audio on headphones, bulletin boards, digital prints, chairs, table, granite; collection SFMOMA; photo: Brian Forrest; © Tris Vonna-Michell

Shilpa Gupta, I Have Many Dreams (installation detail), 2007-8; courtesy the artist and Yvon Lambert Gallery, New York – Paris; © Shilpa Gupta

Anthony Discenza, A Viewing (The Effect) (installation view), 2009-10; courtesy the artist and Catharine Clark Gallery, San Francisco – New York; © Anthony Discenza

Dora Garca, Instant Narrative (installation view), 2006-8; collection SFMOMA; photo: James Royall; © Dora Garca

Aurlien Froment, Pulmo Marina, 2010, HD Cam with sound transferred to QuickTime file, 35mm print, Digibeta tape and Blu-ray disk, 5:10 min; collection SFMOMA, Accessions Committee Fund purchase; photo: Aurlien Froment, Monterey, February 19, 2010; © Aurlien Froment

Lynn Marie Kirby and Li Xiaofei, Hello? ! (still), 2010; courtesy the artists

Lynn Marie Kirby and Li Xiaofei, Hello? ! (still), 2010; courtesy the artists