San Francisco Art Institute (SFAI) opens its latest exhibition, Oceans and Campfires: Allan Sekula and Bruno Serralongue, today (Nov. 30) in the Walter and McBean Galleries on the institute’s campus.
Sekula, an LA-based artist and faculty member in CalArts School of Art, and Parisian photographer Serralongue are often regarded as two of the most innovative figures in the field of contemporary documentary photography and video.
Focusing on the maritime economy and sea-based transportation, Sekula’s stills, found in his book Fish Story and in the series Ship of Fools, and in his cine-essays such as Lottery of the Sea and The Forgotten Space, examine the impact of globalization and capitalism on people and economic systems.
Serralongue examines how photos are produced, disseminated and used in the mass media. Like a photojournalist, he covers political events and volatile places, such as global economic forums, wars in Kosovo and the South Sudan or workers striking at a factory in France. Instead of capturing the highly dramatic action of these situations, he opts for shooting the fringes and the angles excluded from mainstream media.
Photography and video documentaries have played a significant role in the evolution of global contemporary art, opening a new dimension of artists’ engagements with social and political changes, and producing an aesthetic genre highly relevant to our age of media and communication. Differing from traditional journalistic photography and films, these works negotiate the moving boundaries between reality and imagination, reportage and critique. They also provide a new space in which contemporary art can reconnect with real life, serving as a site of resistance to the hegemony of established powers. At a time when “Occupy Wall Street!” has become a rallying cry against the domination of neoliberal capitalism, this exhibition of Allan Sekula and Bruno Serralongue is especially relevant.
The opening reception is tonight (Nov. 30) from 5:30-7:30 pm, followed by a Visiting Artists and Scholars lecture with both artists in attendance and in conversation about their work.
Oceans and Campfires: Allan Sekula and Bruno Serralongue
Curated by Hou Hanru
Walter and McBean Galleries
San Francisco Art Institute (SFAI)
800 Chestnut St., San Francisco
Opening reception tonight from 5:30-7:30 pm, followed by an artists’ lecture
Through Feb. 18, 2012