Megan Wilson
Writings > P O N D

Through January 31

The year 2000 was marked by anxiety and transition for the San Francisco arts community. This included the closing of three respected alternative galleries - Four Walls, Scene/Escena, and ESP with other spaces feeling the imminent threat of losing their leases. Additionally, a number of individual artists were faced with eviction as rising rents and condo conversions rippled through the area. However, as the dot-com bubble has burst and city hall has experienced a much-needed makeover, life for the arts is hopeful again. One sign of this is the opening of P O N D, a non-profit community space and forum dedicated to emerging and experimental artists established by Marisa Jahn and Steve Shada. The space is still a bit rough (laundry on the stairs and scuffed walls), but has a refreshing air of warmth and accessibility. Terry Mason's sculpture and digital video installation invites the viewer to get a little nutty by sitting at an elevated school desk and lowering a giant walnut onto his/her head by rotating a lever. Inside the shell, the experience is both odoriferous (a pungent resin smell permeates the enclosed space) and humbling as one literally becomes the nut through a rough and tumble video ride through grass and gravel. The potential for an audience (passersby peering through the storefront window) to witness this bizarre image heightens the absurdity. Tucked into a corner near the ceiling, the pixilated and pulsating world of Saiman Li can be seen through Li's hi-spun video documentation of his daily routine. Strange to some, familiar to others, his life could never be depicted as boring. On the other hand, the word mundane best describes the domestic labor performed by a woman's hands washing a white sheet in Permi Gill's surprisingly sensual photographs. Gill writes that she is “interested in the historical role played by women, who, in being subjected to domestic labor ('dirty work') are thus sexualized.” Also sexually charged, Jennifer Fiore's glossy photographs of eerie landscapes filled with gooey, goopy folds and crevices evoke simultaneous sensations of delight and disgust. This inaugural exhibition offers a promising glance at how the gallery and the coming year might evolve.

214 Valencia Street (at Duboce), San Francisco
Wed. – Sun.. 1 p.m. – 7 p.m.,
(415) 437-9151 (Megan Wilson)