San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) opens Six Lines of Flight: Shifting Geographies in Contemporary Art

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) presents Six Lines of Flight: Shifting Geographies in Contemporary Art, an exhibition which brings together artists from six cities around the world that have become burgeoning artistic centers: Beirut, Lebanon; Cali, Colombia; Cluj-Napoca, Romania; Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam; San Francisco, USA; and Tangier, Morocco. On view September 15–December 31, 2012.

Dinh Q. Le, Sound and Fury, 2012 (still). Three-channel video installation with sound, 7:30 minutes. Commissioned by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and ARSENALE 2012; Courtesy the artist; Shoshana Wayne Gallery, Los Angeles; PPOW Gallery, New York; and 10 Chancery Lane Gallery, Hong Kong; © Dinh Q. Lȇ

Six Lines of Flight explores the hybrid, changing nature of today’s international artistic landscape, presenting work from various communities that provide a unique lens through which to examine artistic production regionally and beyond. Artworks in all media are presented, including installation, painting, sculpture, film, photography, video, and performance. Featuring more than 60 works by 19 artists and collectives, the exhibition is organized by Apsara DiQuinzio, former assistant curator of painting and sculpture at SFMOMA.

“Six Lines of Flight convenes artists who have created and helped build diverse organizations on a grassroots level in six cities around the world, presenting works that index the distinctive histories and cultural character of each location,” says DiQuinzio. “Through the cultivation of new connections among these disparate regions, the exhibition itself emerges as another cross-cultural platform.”

Artists who have developed institutions, collectives, or associations that have had a major impact on their respective communities are represented. Through the artists’ foundational work, these platforms have anchored each region, helping to foster vibrant art scenes. Artists featured in the exhibition include: Yto Barrada, Tiffany Chung, Wilson Diaz, Futurefarmers, Adrian Ghenie, Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige, Helena Producciones, Lamia Joreige, Dinh Q. Lê, Victor Man, Oscar Muñoz, Ciprian Muresan, Luis Ospina and Carlos Mayolo, The Propeller Group, Graziella and Jalal Toufic, and Akram Zaatari.

Over the last decade, it has become increasingly apparent that the art world is no longer defined by a few primary art centers, but is now composed of many centers, small and large, that possess distinctive histories, constituencies, and ethnic backgrounds. The exhibition not only seeks out work being made in diverse geographic locales, but also demonstrates the interconnected nature of the international art landscape, exploring artworks from each region in relation to common themes, such as cosmopolitanism, collaboration, contested histories, the dynamics between center and periphery, the lasting traces of war, and the effects of economic and cultural renaissance.

The title Six Lines of Flight refers to the six featured cities and suggests distinct yet parallel perspectives and patterns of movement. It also draws on the work of French philosophers Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, who coined the term “line of flight” to refer to a pathway leading to new connections, experiences, and forms of knowledge. In bringing together artists whose efforts have enriched each city’s cultural landscape, the exhibition explores such pathways and links between them, illuminating the dynamic, global, and collective spirit of 21st-century art.

A fully illustrated catalogue accompanies the exhibition, with an introduction by DiQuinzio and essays about each locality authored by a curator or writer active there. In addition, three thematic essays challenge traditional cultural frameworks and propose various ways of understanding the shifting nature of the local and global landscape, written by Tarek Elhaik and Dominic Willsdon, Hou Hanru and Pamela M. Lee. The publication also includes a roundtable discussion between artists from each city and SFMOMA curators DiQuinzio and Willsdon that was held at the museum in September 2011.

Six Lines of Flight: Shifting Geographies in Contemporary Art is organized by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Major support is provided by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, the Creative Work Fund, Pat and Bill Wilson, and SFMOMA’s Collectors Forum. Generous support is provided by the Betlach Family Foundation and the Trust for Mutual Understanding.

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA)
151 Third Street
San Francisco, CA 94103

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