Save the Armoire

For new residents, it takes a while to see Defenestration on Sixth Street, because there are so many interesting things to look at, to step over, to run from — even to furtively purchase — at street level. But by and by they’ll finally look up, blink, and have an exquisite “God, this city is weird” revelation, since what they'll see is furniture attempting to escape a building. Defenestration is Brian Goggin’s contribution to the skyline (the word is defined as the act of throwing something out of a window; it’s also one of those sonorous words, like “cellar door” and “lollygag,” that crush linguists). Lately the piece has been making news, with the work’s canvas, the blasted-out Hugo Hotel, being stretched this way and that. The San Francisco Redevelopment Agency has allowed the work to remain up as long as the building does, so long as Goggin restores it — Defenestration was meant to last one year, and it’s been 13. The Black Rock Arts Foundation has stepped in to help, and hopes to raise $75,000. The exhibit “Operation Restore Defenestration is their first major effort: the exhibit features artwork from Goggin — he also did Language of the Birds (with Dorka Keehn), which hovers above Columbus and Broadway, and has planned an ambitious project to extract a “monolith” of blue basal ice from a Greenland glacier, sail it home, and display it in fine art museums within a sculptural reliquary outfitted with laser beams. Seriously. March 5's fundraiser is a chance to meet the artist and Defenestration volunteers, all of whom are dedicated to keeping the Sixth Street skyline as twisted as the parade below.

March 5-April 2, 2010

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