Show at Mission 17 Deconstructs Destruction

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Through April 12 at Mission 17, 2111 Mission (at 17th St.), S.F.; Wednesday through Saturday 1-6 p.m. Admission is free; for more information, call 861-3144 or visit www.mission17.org.

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Things fall apart. And if they don't fall apart on their own, we take them apart. How is the human compulsion to deconstruct, deface, and otherwise transform objects and our environment related to art? Is it true that, as Picasso said, "every act of creation is first of all an act of destruction"? The three artists in Mission 17's new show, "Amidst the Ruins," explore the destructive origins of art in three different mediums. Val Britton combines collage and cartography, shredding, staining, and sometimes stitching paper to create maps of imaginary places. The complex working of these pieces suggests the physical labor involved in the effort not to get lost. Michael Damm's photographs and videos, conversely, imply that we are already adrift in the city, wandering anonymous streets with tumbleweeds of trash blowing by. In the accidental poetry of decaying streets and buildings, Damm finds his images. Zachary Royer Scholz ravages the very structure of buildings and furniture, cutting them open to expose their innards and stitching them back up again in monstrous, rethought forms. If the seeds of creativity are in ruin, there's a lot of fertile ground here.

 
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