Ordinary Sublime

A dead shark floating in formaldehyde. An unmade bed surrounded by dirty laundry and life's detritus. These might be bona fide works of art (made by Damien Hirst and Tracey Emin, respectively), but it's easy to feel that some contemporary artists and curators are just laughing at us behind our backs. In "Isn't It Obvious? San Francisco Artists Consuming the Banal," the participating creators focus on similarly mundane objects and situations, but they are all about letting the audience in on the joke. The exhibit brings together new work from seven local artists who are known for injecting humor into their practice and for not taking themselves too seriously. Lindsey White has a gift of making seemingly insignificant moments seem magical in her photography and videos. For her commission, she focuses her attention on perhaps the most boring object of all: the rock. Jasmin Lim does similarly unexpected things with the mundane, creating downright gorgeous images from materials as simple as plastic and water. Meanwhile, tricksters Brian Nuda Rosch and Chris Sollars have given themselves the official-sounding name Arthur/Allan for their project as they investigate San Francisco civic buildings. They play with the idea of unoccupied space in the city through a series of humorous actions they share in the show. Matthew Kennedy, Kristina Lewis, and Daniel Nevers also contribute; we guarantee you will be the one laughing.

The opening for "Isn't It Obvious? San Francisco Artists Consuming the Banal" starts at 6 p.m.
Wednesdays-Saturdays. Starts: Jan. 21. Continues through April 2, 2011

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