Curatorial Research Bureau
Curatorial Research Bureau

Issue 3, Nov 2018

A monthly communiqué featuring news on programs, publications, exhibitions, students, and faculty with content and activities threaded together by a guiding theme.


In this issue

“Place”→ Keep Walking IntentlyDo Po→ The San Francisco World’s Fair of 2007East Rancho DominguezThe Unloved: Ellen HarveyInverness Almanac→ Zoë Ryan: Taking Positions→ Between You & Me: Constance Hockaday and Laurel Braitman→ Experience It: Rosa Barba→ Open Seminar: Shoghig Halajian→ Case Studies: Janet Delaney→ John Roy→ Claudia La Rocco→ Rosa Barba→ Heidi Rabben


A bookshop, a learning site, an exhibition and public program, Curatorial Research Bureau unites education and consumerism inside a contemporary arts institution, prioritizing context—of art, ideas, people, places, and things—as an active ingredient in the practice of curatorial research.

Curatorial Research Bureau at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco is the hub of learning for the California College of the Arts Graduate Program in Curatorial Practice.


Made possible with funding and support from California College of the Arts and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. Produced by Bureau for Open Culture, in collaboration with Motto Books.

This Month

The theme this month at CRB is “Place.” Our bookshop, graduate seminars and programs occur inside Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, which is located at Yerba Buena Gardens. Yerba Buena Gardens comprises two city blocks redeveloped in the late 1980s and early ’90s, opening in 1993. We are in what is now commonly called South of Market, or SoMA, a busy urban space with Bay Area residents who work downtown and visitors rushing to nearby cultural institutions, such as SFMOMA, Contemporary Jewish Museum, the Museum of the African Diaspora, as well as conventions taking place at Moscone Center. This place has proved to be a vibrant interlocutor for us as we witness the daily motion through the floor-to-ceiling windows of the CRB and experience the sounds and voices on the streets and in the park.  

For many, including CCA graduate students and faculty, our downtown situation provides regular intersection with SoMA’s civic, retail and cultural life. This is a good thing. It requires them to physically move beyond the buildings and classrooms of CCA’s campus. They are immersed in and reminded of this vibrant cultural place—San Francisco. But like many urban spaces SoMA was not always the dense and chaotic site it is today. And as we began to learn more about where we are each day, we looked toward the beautiful portrait of this South of Market place chronicled in photographs by Janet Delaney in her book Janet Delaney: South of Market, published on the occasion of her 2015 exhibition at the de Young. The book has a selection of photographs taken between 1978 and 1986. It shows the sites and people whose shops and industries made up the neighborhood south of market. The cover photograph coincidentally is a startling desolate portrayal of the bustling location where Yerba Buena Center for the Arts and Curatorial Research Bureau are today. 

We use Delaney’s elegiac portrait of south of market before SoMA as the departure point this month for thinking about place, gathering together a selection of books that invite us to discover, wander and sort through spaces that we intersect each day.   

James Voorhies, Chair, CCA Graduate Program in Curatorial Practice

In the Bookshop


Selected CRB Programs

on View

Case Studies: Janet Delaney: South of Market

Photographs of south of market in the book Janet Delaney: South of Market were taken between 1978 and 1986. Delaney lived and worked in the South of Market neighborhood (62 Langton Street), the short block bracketed by Howard and Folsom streets and 7th and 8th streets, not far now from upscale coffee bars, bakeries and wine rooms today. She was steps away from 80 Langton Street, the coffin factory turned contemporary arts space purchased by artist Jock Reynolds in 1975 that would subsequently become the center of artist-driven activity until New Langton Arts (moving subsequently to 1246 Folsom Street) closed its doors in 2009.

California College of the Arts Seminar Highlight


Exhibition Form

This seminar takes up a series of case studies in order to consider the ways in which exhibitions make history and define creative fields. The course introduces students to a variety of formats for curating, including museum and gallery exhibitions, biennials, blogs, collection installations, performance, discursive events, curatorial texts, and catalogs. Readings, in-class lectures, discussions, and assignments encourage critical reflection on theme, thesis, juxtaposition, and association, as well as logistical, intellectual, and political aspects of making, viewing, and inserting work and ideas into the public realm.

From California College of the Arts Curatorial Practice

CCA Faculty

Claudia La Rocco


Rosa Barba

CCA Alum

Heidi Rabben

On View at Institutions Nearby


Catharine Clark Gallery

Sandow Birk: Imaginary Monuments II


de Young Museum

Ranu Mukherjee:
A Bright Stage


CCA Wattis Institute

Léonie Guyer: form in the realm of



Janet Delaney:
Public Matters

CRB Dispatch Archive

Issue 1, Sep 2018: “Institution”
Issue 2, Oct 2018: “Audience”
Issue 3, Nov 2018: “Place”
Issue 4, Dec 2018: “Corporate Mentality”
Issue 5, Jan 2019: “Counter Education”
Issue 6, Feb 2019: “Distribution as Practice”
Issue 7, Mar 2019: “Design Forward”
Issue 8, Apr 2019: “Support”
Issue 9, May 2019: “Pedagogy”