October 4th – October 22nd
Reception Friday, October 4th 6pm – 9pm
At the water’s edge politics were once reputed to stop. Today our politics offer no foreign policy consensus and our coasts are the most desired, politically contested, and environmentally burdened regions on earth. Facing rising sea levels, depleted resources, massive storms, unsupportable population densities, and the many other ravages of global warming the very geography of the coast is under siege and addressing these issues is
the world’s most desperate international policy necessity. And yet people still travel to the coast for recreation in record numbers— often oblivious to ongoing debates about access, use, exploitation of coastal resources, and the global warming crisis itself. The coast has become a battleground, even as it remains merely a day at the beach.
The photographs included here are selections from a forty image book project that uses quotes from scientists, bureaucrats, policy statements, politicians, and ordinary citizens who have been affected by the actions of extractive industries or global warming-related events. The dialogue is dire, the lack of concerted action around the world is terrifying. As we face an existential threat to life on earth as we’ve come to know it, the vacuum of response is our species’ greatest failing. It seems likely that “We had it all and used it up.” will be our species’ epitaph. The contrast between our ecological and climatic realities and people’s time at the coast is stark, this work pushes that discordance to the limits. It is intended to be shrill, strident, even as the images themselves are beautiful. It is intended to be an alarm rung in response to the emergency we face.
But an alarm rung without response is hopeless and it seems the best answer to forcing our governments’ hands is non-violent direct action of the sort that Extinction Rebellion is practicing. The posters, flyers, and first issue of the Rebellion Recorder are another of my responses to where we have put ourselves due to our history of irresponsible, greed-driven actions. Please take the time to read the essay by Bill McKibben, Peter Kalmus’ list of facts about where we are today, and take in the rest of the paper’s print galley content. There will be a new edition available this October, look for it here in SF; the local Extinction Rebellion cell will be distributing it around town and at their actions during the latest international period of non-violent civil disobedience beginning October 7th.
About the Artist
J. Matt graduated from SFAI and believes that photography is merely an excuse to pay careful attention and relay information gleaned from doing so to others. See more at tinyshocks.com.
September 12th – October 6th
Reception Saturday, September 14th 6pm – 9pm
The Great Highway Gallery is excited to present “Paradise Adrift”. Window installation and paintings by Sonja Navin.
To seek a state of bliss is to seek paradise. As humans, we are all inherently imperfect. We can start off with good intentions, but just by nature of being human, we get in our own way. We are perfectly flawed. Our adaptation to the unforeseen is what is beautiful and moving.
About the Artist
I work to sustain that first glimpse of an image through the process of producing a painting. The many layers of paint are used to first break down an image, then to rebuild it. The result is somewhere between representation and abstraction: when a painting expresses what I cannot with words. I can communicate in a language of my own making.
I started painting as a way to record and study places. This evolved naturally from my work as an architect. My paintings now strive to capture that fleeting image and emotion of a place or person. My version of the truth.
I attended the University of Michigan where I received a Bachelor and Master of Architecture and first started painting. I currently live and work in San Francisco.
August 16th – September 7th, 2019
Reception Saturday, August 17th 6-9 pm
The Great Highway Gallery is excited to present “What is Shakespeare in a time of climate change?”. Installation and photography by Marfeco and Josh Edwards.
What is shakespeare in a time of climate change is a question posed by Mary Ellen Hannibal (The Spine of the Continent, Citizen Scientist). It refers not to William Shakespeare, the writer, but all human artistic production and asks the question ‘who are we?’ The human species has always altered its environment. We’ve got trash bins. Will we now clean up our emissions? I’m exploring a solution that removes CO2 from the air as a real project and as an idea.
About the Artists
Marfeco is the art practice of Mary Fernando Conrad b. 1961
As important as my global perspective, as gained by living abroad as a child and as an adult, is my perspective as a parent and a mother. My mother was a school teacher and my father was a civil engineer enamored of math and science. As an attempt to appease both the science I was reared with, and the art which is my earliest memory, I went to architecture school (GSAPP, Columbia University 1990). Previous solo shows include Immaterial (Ictus Gallery 2011), Lapidary Terrarium (Michael Rosenthal Gallery 2009) and Sell Your Stories Here (509 Ellis, 2007). I live and work in San Francisco.
Josh Edwards grew up surfing and skateboarding in San Clemente, CA, before moving to San Francisco in 2016 to focus on his artistic development. Since then, he has studied under the guidance of his instructors at CCSF and friends, but has no degree or “formal” training. As a result, his work stems from the tension of surviving in an increasingly institutionalized world and an highlights his admiration of the working class. Josh has shown work around the city, most recently in 10 x 10 at RVCA (2019).