Time Passages

For the exhibit “Now and When,” the S.F. Arts Commission gave $2,000 each to a bunch of artists to make time-capsule projects. Packard Jennings spent his on dinner. He's a conceptual artist — it was an expensive dinner. Actually, Jennings did some of the most intriguing work: He took out a bunch of conceptual artists, plied them with food, filmed the conversation, framed the receipt, transcribed the tape, and put everything on display. Gay Outlaw and Bob Schmitz, however, stopped time by preserving their 9-year-old son's bedroom, but they didn't do it by cleaning out the kid and putting his stuff in the gallery. That wouldn't be very nice (or artistic). Instead, the parents photographed everything and catalogued the images. But not all toys are equal, as every second-rate Zhu Zhu knockoff hamster in the city dump knows. Angus' most prized possessions — Yu-Gi-Oh! cards, a baseball, a Pokemon, and so on — were supersized, made into sculptures, and hung on a Calderesque-mobile to drift in the still air, like the icons of a boy's lazy dream. Almost better than viewing it is knowing that the installation will be crated up for the next 40 years, then again exhibited — when Angus is middle-aged, baseball is soccer, and Pokemon is our religion. Today, at “The Art of Passing Time,” Outlaw and Schmitz appear in conversation with Douglass Bailey of SFSU’s anthropology department.
Wed., Aug. 25, 12:15 p.m., 2010

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