This solo presentation of works by the British artist Runa Islam features the U.S. premiere of Cabinet of Prototypes (2009–10), a 16mm film installation that inspired the exhibition’s exploration of the thresholds between film and sculpture. This artwork is shown together for the first time with Magical Consciousness (2010). Both works stem from Islam’s research as an artist fellow at the Smithsonian. Cabinet of Prototypes foregrounds the sculptural qualities of various stands and hooks that are used to present Asian art objects in the collection while, through black-and-white 16mm film, Magical Consciousness (2010) transforms the gilded back of a six-panel Japanese screen into a meditation on the silver screen of cinema. A selection of recent and new works further highlights these material shifts and includes Islam’s process of reclaiming the silver from exposed celluloid to create cast sculptures and drawings.
Header image: Runa Islam, Cabinet of Prototypes, 2009–2010 (installation view, SFMOMA); purchase, by exchange, through a fractional gift of Shirley Ross Davis and the Accessions Committee Fund; © Runa Islam; photo: Katherine Du Tiel