SFGate,' Raising Cash and Consciousness '
by Alison Bing, August 18, 2004
State of the Nation Exhibition and Art Auction
Raising Cash and Consciousness
Most arts nonprofits treat their annual art auctions as opportunities to raise money by hawking bland landscapes -- but the reliably forward-thinking Intersection for the Arts has taken the opportunity to raise cash and consciousness with a show of sharp, provocative artwork by some of the City's keenest talents from the Mission School and beyond. Jim Christensen pulls a Betsy Ross with his slyly revolutionary "J.A. Christensen, Patriot," a hand-sewn flag that captures our united states of delusion with a yellow ribbon banner stating, "I want subjective reality, or I want none!" Here, Christensen has created the ideal flag for planting atop the growing mountain of "imperfect intelligence," if it were in fact possible to climb the slippery slope of misinformation in the current political climate. Megan Wilson captures the glorious promise and spectacular pratfalls of election-year politics in "Party's Over," a dazzling installation of strands of red, white and blue confetti pinned to the wall. The paper is curled into patterns as elaborate as candidates' figures of speech -- and they, too, mysteriously unravel as soon as they touch the ground. In Sergio de la Torre's "We Must Dissent," the motto of the title appears as wisps of smoke above Victorian roofline, showing the winds of change that are coalescing above our city of loyal opposition -- as well as the overriding frustration at having to resort to smoke signals to get any message of dissent heard in today's self-censoring media. This work and many others in "State of the Nation" make an eloquent case for change in our society, and an equally convincing case for sparing more than a little change at the Intersection for the Arts fund-raiser this Friday: As long as we support such fearless art and an equally fearless venue where it can be seen, the states of our nation, state and city and the culture at large are not entirely sorry. -- Alison Bing, special to SF Gate