Shotgun Review


By Elyse Mallouk September 15, 2010

SC stands for show case, one of the myriad four-feet wide by eight-feet-tall glass displays butted up against each other at the San Francisco Antique and Design Mall. The non-art venue is located on an industrial stretch of Bayshore Boulevard, prefaced by a bath and tile mart. The space is a hodgepodge maze of cases assembled by over 200 independent antique specialists. SC13, the one curated by Chris Fitzpatrick and the Post Brothers, is distinguishable from the others by way of several clues: its numeric marking (above it in boldface font), the sparse arrangement of the objects inside, their lack of price tags (nothing in the case is for sale), and more abstractly, the sense that these things are not desirable in the same way as a Victorian brooch or hand-painted bowl.

In SC13 (as in the cases that surround it), contents will continue to change through accumulation, disappearance, and replacement. Groupings are loosely thematic, and shifts in the arrangement are intuitive, not driven by supply or demand. The works currently on view are associated with one another by punctures—they focus on rifts, their purpose, their patching and their origin: a wine bottle by Nicolas Boulard sits on the top shelf, having sustained multiple wounds: by gunshot? by drill bit? A vacated, damaged bird’s nest by Juozas Laivys rests on top of the box it traveled in; to whom it was sent, why, and why it stopped are mysteries. Gintaras Didžiapetris made a metal echo of a violin’s hole, which sits alone on the bottom shelf. Zarouhie Abdalian patched a crack in the concrete floor with aluminum leaf,

Emanuele Becheri, Untitled (Fourth Section), 2010; five charred objects (detail). Gintaras Didžiapetris F-Bole (Violin), 2009; metal. Courtesy of the Artists and San Francisco Antique and Design Mall, San Francisco.

creating the sense that these mostly-confined interventions might bleed into the surrounding labyrinth.

The difficulty of locating where SC13 begins and ends plays a central role in the show’s proposal: that objects are ripe with potential narratives, and that the cursory but continual activity of thinking them up is one way that worlds are described, imagined, constructed, dissected, and rewritten. Though SC13 suggests that every object has the potential to serve as the framework for a small world, it also suggests (just by being there) that intentional interventions can have effect; it both levels the field between art and non-art, and makes an argument for the importance of inserting carefully considered objects into the mix, even if they’ll never be read the same way twice. 


SC13 is on view at the San Francisco Antique and Design Mall through December 31, 2010.

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