Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Imagining Val Travel Opens September 16th

Below is the information and statement for my upcoming installation:

304 Valencia Street (at 14th St.)
San Francisco
September 16th – November 3rd, 2012

Opening Reception
Sunday, September 16th, 6 pm - 9 pm

I have always been interested in history, from the big moments to the everyday.  I have a special fascination for San Francisco history.  I even like to look-up the history of spots in my neighborhood.  For a relatively young city, San Francisco has a rich, layered history.  It is also a city full of ghosts.  It made me wonder about the space at 304 Valencia.  What was there long before Glama-Rama?

Now, just imagine what it was like at 304 Valencia Street when they were renovating and moving into the new location for Glama-Rama.  Imagine a trip to a dusty, dark basement and finding a forgotten corner.  They might have discovered a box filled with discarded items from a long gone tenant.  Imagine Val Travel.

Ask yourself, could a former travel agency be haunted?  What sort of ghosts would be there?  I like to think it could be a place of pleasant and happy spirits.  The positive energy left behind would be from the years of customers coming by to plan and anticipate exciting adventures.  A salon and a travel agency have something in common.  They are both places that fulfill dreams and make our lives more glamorous. It’s no accident that Glama-Rama found a new home at 304 Valencia.

With this mind, I wanted to create a new series of travel themed, mixed media pieces using travel-related ephemera.  The installation at Glama-Rama Salon & Gallery is meant to infuse the space with the soul of an imaginary, long lost travel agency.  The work pays homage to all travel agencies because they have all but vanished from our urban landscapes.  

I reuse and repurpose old bits of paper, everything from maps to postcards to stamps to photographs to magazines to various travel ephemera.  Recycling is only part of the agenda.  Even though I may destroy certain items to reuse them, there is a side of historic preservation with my work.  Rather than tucking something in a box or drawer, I prefer to permanently add it to a piece of art.  The work may have aesthetic value, but it also can serve as a time capsule by using items that would otherwise be lost or forgotten.  Many of the items I use are being rendered “obsolete” in our digital society.  Snapshots, postage stamps, tickets stubs are among things that are vanishing from our day-to-day lives.

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