Curatorial Research Bureau
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Bik Van der Pol—TAKE PART: Is There Room for San Francisco in San Francisco?


Mon, Sep 17, 2018
3–5 pm
(by invitation)
Off-site: San Francisco Public Library Facility and Warehouse

Photo documentation

Between 1938 and 1940 a large-scale model of the city of San Francisco was made by Bay Area carpenters for the San Francisco Planning Commission as part of the Works Progress Administration. The WPA was a key component of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal, a massive economic and infrastructure revitalization effort administered to bring the United States out of the Great Depression. The San Francisco scale model was part of this work. It was first exhibited at City Hall in 1940 and then most of the components stored away for decades, except a downtown section which was utilized for planning research at the University of California, Berkeley. The model is now back in the public eye through the efforts of Rotterdam-based artist duo Bik Van der Pol and SFMOMA’s Public Knowledge department.

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The full model when assembled occupies more than 1500 square feet, measuring 37 x 41 feet. All the pieces and parts have been tracked down, transported to San Francisco from a Berkeley warehouse, and fully cleaned and inventoried. The model is now located at the San Francisco Library’s Brannan Street warehouse where both the model and site will serve as departure points for a research project titled TAKE PART. TAKE PART will develop and be shaped (the title and process are a nod to Lawrence and Anna Halprin’s 1970s methodologies of collective creativity and community planning as inspiration) through different stages of research and dialogue in collaboration with students, urban specialists, social geographers, other specialists, and of course, citizens, the ultimate experts.

This is a call and invitation to California College of the Arts graduate students and community to learn more about the project and Bik Van der Pol, and to help identify ways the project can take shape, involving and interweaving the ideas and perspectives of students and CCA’s community.

TAKE PART: Is There Room for San Francisco in San Francisco? is organized by Public Knowledge, a curatorial initiative at SFMOMA realized in partnership with the San Francisco Public Library.

Call + Response is an open invitation to Bay Area cultural producers in fields of design, architecture, humanities, civic affairs, urban planning, and more who want to connect with Curatorial Research Bureau to insert their ideas into the public realm for dialogue. The format speaks to a long history of democratic participation, projecting thoughts and ideas in public gatherings where speaking and listening—call and response—are equally valued as essential parts of public discourse.

Earlier Event: September 11
Shahryar Nashat
Later Event: September 27
CRB Grand Opening!