In That Case: Havruta in Contemporary Art: Allison Smith and Christina Zetterlund

. April 10, 2017

The Contemporary Jewish Museum repurposes the centuries-old practice of havruta—the study of religious texts by people in pairs—for the contemporary art community. Bay Area-based artist Allison Smith collaborates with craft and design historian Christina Zetterlund in the next installation of the exhibition series, In That Case: Havruta in Contemporary Art.

Smith has created a number of projects that consider traditional craft and historical reenactments in the context of the United States. For this project, Smith collaborates with Christina Zetterlund, a craft and design historian and theoretician based at the Konstfack in Sweden. Smith first met Zetterlund during her recent residency in Stockholm and they discovered a shared interest in the politics of handcraft and its use in both progressive and conservative social movements. Through a series of emails, shared texts, Skype sessions, and in-person visits in Stockholm and San Francisco, their exchanges will explore the role of traditional craft in constructions of nationalism and processes of colonization, culminating in an installation that plays with the conventions of period rooms and living history museums.

Smith has exhibited her work nationally and internationally since 1995. She has produced over twenty-five solo exhibitions, installations, performances, and artist-led participatory projects for venues such as SFMOMA, Public Art Fund, The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, The Arts Club of Chicago, among many others. Smith has exhibited her work in group exhibitions at galleries and museums including MoMA P.S.1; Palais de Tokyo; the Wattis Institute for Contemporary Art; Mass MoCA; The Andy Warhol Museum; and the Tang Museum. She is Associate Professor and Chair of the Sculpture Program at California College of the Arts.

WHEN: July 20, 2017–January 9, 2018
TIME: Open daily (except Wed.): 11am–5pm and Thursday, 11am–8pm
WHERE: The Contemporary Jewish Museum, 736 Mission Street, San Francisco
ADMISSION: $14 adults, $12 students and senior citizens with a valid ID, and $5 on Thursdays after 5pm. Youth 18 and under free.

For more information visit or call 415.655.7800

Allison Smith, ”Ghost Photography, (Skansen Revisited) 1891-1981″ (detail), 2015.

Category: Museum News

Comments are closed.