July 12, 2010

SX .

to advertise our closing this sunday, we got some beautiful grey on grey posters made at levi's workshop: print. endless thanks to hunter, ann marie and taylor for helping us out!

jason munn of the small stakes was busy working on a run of show posters, kids were playing with stamps, girls were printing linoleum cuts, and ideas for menus, neighborhood signs, and other projects were getting worked out, while we stood in the front window with the big machine.

for the full vandercook 32-28 letterpress experience, i urge you to visit the shop in the mission at 17th and valencia — project in hand — and read our brief account on the carville annex blog, july 11th.

July 09, 2010

SX .

a collaboration between nick sung and erin klenow
the sandwich exchange is part of an initiative called the upper left ethnography project, a investigation of san francisco's sunset district; place and portraiture. this quiet neighborhood is home to an interesting history and exciting new ferment — gentrification, young blood, honest care — and the 'upper left' are intent on finding out what it means to people.

what, how + why

our name refers the gallery to the neighborhood's first business — a coffee-saloon called the carville annex. it opened at the turn of the century when there was similar activity in the sunset: 'bohemian' life emerging in a sprawling desert.  it acted just as we hope to: as a community hub.

the sandwich exchange is a site-conditioned situation; its conception was generated by the place and the project generates material from the place. when we opened, four weeks ago, we were all empty shelves; we asked passersby for submissions and now the shelves are full.

using a free exchange of good-will — of food and conversation — our intentions are the same as gordon matta-clark and rirkrit tiravanija's before us: to extend beyond the boundaries of traditional gallery walls and invite the public to reflect on itself and the structure of its surroundings through participation in communal activity.

this is our primary function: to act as a locus for public trajectories; to offer the opportunity of  representation to the breadth of the neighborhood; to meet strangers with whom we share a common place and enable those strangers to meet; to reveal something of the character of the neighborhood by letting the neighborhood reveal itself.

the place draws a portrait of itself.


to make this happen, we say hello. one of us sits in the gallery almost every day, people pass by and come in, we have conversations and solicit donations of objects that represent people's relationship to the sunset; we keep a journal. we've thrown a bonfire, hosted a concert, and, in a week, we hope to have a closing party. we'll make a book with free distribution.

so far, we've collected artifacts ranging from the sand on someone's feet to a person's first muni transfer; a photograph of the block from the 60's to an immigrant's english language cassette tapes; deeply sentimental toys to smutty ephemera found on the street.

our archive is a collection of small stories.

to see the artifacts, click here.
to read the journal, click here.


but as much as we represent an image of the neighborhood, we also represent an image of a critique of the neighborhood; we assume the role of conscious ethnographers.

as embedded outsiders, we bring perspective. we observe without particular goals; we take whatever we get. the situation engenders. thus far, the process has been enlightening, difficult, lonely, surprising, and joyful.

our endeavor is to be present and to reveal to the neighborhood what's been revealed to us.

the sandwich exchange is open to july 18th, from 12 to 4 pm
located at 4037 judah street, between 45th and 46th avenues
please visit the carville annex for more information

this project has been made possible through the support of: