The Body Electric
September 6, 2019 – January 26, 2020
Yerba Buena Center for the Arts
First sentence to the YBCA Press Release:
YBCA presents the West Coast debut of The Body Electric, an expansive array of more than 70 works revealing the ways that technology changes our collective understanding of the body, everyday life, and sense of self.
I love the exhibition space at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco. Spacious, light-filled with a variety of smaller projection rooms and project spaces. This is well suited for the current show, The Body Electric, which utilizes both floors has plenty of room for cozy viewing stations, various sitting areas and darkened projection rooms to accommodate the large group of featured artists and over 70 works. I was personally familiar with many of the artist in the show as they had either been my professor at art school in Minneapolis (This exhibition was organized by the Walker Art Center) or were visiting artist at the time, some having month long or semester residencies. Curious why Vito Acconci’s work was not included…? Many of the early works by Nam Jun Paik, Joan Jonas (work shown above) and Peter Campus initiate a creative baseline of screen metaphors and technological bodies culminating in excerpts from the Wooster Group’s 1990s theater work “House/Lights.” In this early piece, the experimental New York troupe began dragging a TV onto the stage, thus “splintering, doubling, multiplying the presence of the actors’ bodies on the stage, confusing this space of action and of representation,” as explained by Walker curator Pavel Pyś. After taking in the exhibit head to the main lobby for some pin- pong on the hexagonal ping-pong table or stop by the compact but well curated bookstore.