This Wednesday, April 11th is the opening reception for the culmination of a yearlong project curated by Megan Wilson and Maw Shein Win entitled Broadside Attractions | Vanquished Terrains that features a profusion of Bay Area artists and writers teaming up for Intersection for the Arts. The reception from 7–9pm, is free. Details and subsequent gallery hours below:
BroadsideAttractions | Vanquished Terrains is a group exhibition that features twelve pairs of visual artists and writers creating new collaborative work that takes inspiration from the historical broadside and reflects on current events and contemporary culture using the theme of “vanquished terrains” as a point of departure.
Before newspapers, magazines, pamphlets, and the internet, there was the broadside. Historically the broadside has been defined as a large sheet of paper printed on one side and designed to be plastered onto walls in heavily trafficked public areas to announce events, proclamations, or news through visually bold and concise messaging. Although broadsides were first introduced in England, they became a prime means of communication and the most common form of printed material in the early days of the U.S. before newspapers.
In addition to announcements, advertisements, and commentaries, broadsides also came to feature cartoons, poems, and song lyrics. A famous example is the Dunlap broadside, the first publication of the United States Declaration of Independence printed on the night of July 4, 1776 by John Dunlap of Philadelphia in an estimated 200 copies. Over time, artists and writers began to embrace the format and structure of the broadside, working with printers and publishers to create limited edition multiples of their work, oftentimes a short written piece accompanied by an illustration depicting the essence of the writing.
During the 20th Century in the U.S., Harlem Renaissance, Concrete, and Beat writers all claimed the broadside as a below-the-radar way to get their work out onto the streets. However, as printed matter becomes more obsolete in our digital world, the broadside too has become outdated (today poetry broadsides can be purchased as limited edition artworks through venues such as City Lights Booksellers). Organized in collaboration with curators Megan Wilson and Maw Shein Win, this project is part of Intersection’s larger exploration of language, place, and storytelling that pays homage to the history of printed matter, highlights cross-disciplinary work between artists and writers, and demonstrates a 21st Century reinterpretation of one of the original forms of public communication.
Participating artists and writers were paired up to collaborate on this project. Each artist provided their collaborating writer three sources of information inspired by the theme of vanquished terrains: a piece of music, a movie, and a location. The writer then created a short piece in response to these prompts, which was then given back to the artist to create work in response to the writing. This became the content for the traditionally printed broadside. Additionally, each artist and writer pair were then asked to create another piece that could embody the same set of ideas and concepts with any form or media that they wanted to utilize, including sculpture, painting, video, sound, and stop-motion animation. Each artist and writer pair will have two pieces on display in the exhibition, a traditionally printed broadside and a contemporary reinterpretation of the broadside in a variety of media.
Don’t miss this if you can help it, but if you can’t make it Wednesday at 7pm you can return at any of the following times through Saturday, May 26th:
Gallery & Community Hours: Tuesdays – Saturdays, 12–6pm, FREE