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SFMOMA”s “Soft Power” Artists’ Films Screenings | SF

Saturday, October 26, 2019 - 11:30 am | Cost: FREE*
*Free admission. First come, first served.

SFMOMA | 151 Third Street, San Francisco, CA


SFMOMA”s “Soft Power” Exhibition | SF

Timely and provocative, Soft Power is an exhibition about the ways in which artists deploy art to explore their roles as citizens and social actors.

Appropriated from the Reagan-era term used to describe how a country’s “soft” assets such as culture, political values, and foreign policies can be more influential than violence or coercion, the title Soft Power suggests a contemplation on the potential of art and offers a provocation to the public to exert their own influence on the world.

SFMOMA”s “Soft Power” Exhibition
October 26, 2019–February 17, 2020

Accompanying Soft Power is a major portfolio of free public programming designed to provide deeper insight and engagement with the themes raised by the exhibition.

The programs include the following opportunities, featuring conversations among artists, musical performances, open rehearsals for dance, spoken word and a symposium exploring the politics of borders, produced in conjunction with the University of California, Santa Cruz.

List of Free Events

Soft Power Artists’ Discussion
Thursday, October 24, 7 pm | Phyllis Wattis Theater
FREE tickets to the Artists’ Discussion will be available on SFMOMA’s website as of September 19.

Witness an informal discussion between artists participating in SOFT POWER. In this unscripted event, nearly all of the 20 artists will be present and in dialogue with each other and Eungie Joo, curator of contemporary art, and Jovanna Venegas, assistant curator of contemporary art, about the concepts and processes that led to the work on view.

Soft Power Artists’ Films Screenings
Saturday, October 26, 2019, 11:30 am & 2:30 pm | Phyllis Wattis Theater
Free admission. First come, first served.

  • 11:30 am
    CRUZADA (CRUSADE), 2010, dir: Cinthia Marcelle
    Camera, 2012, dir: Dave McKenzie
    Blind Ambition, 2012, dir: Hassan Khan
  • 2:30 pm
    Nefandus, 2013, dir: Carlos Motta
    The Island, 2017, dir: Tuan Andrew Nguyen
    Flint is Family, 2016, dir: LaToya Ruby Frazier

This screening of video works by artists featured in Soft Power expands ideas explored in the exhibition on the role of the artist as citizen. Many of the artists in the exhibition work across media and are incisive makers of time-based art including sound and moving images. Profoundly nuanced and lushly depicted works by LaToya Ruby Frazier, Carlos Motta and Tuan Nguyen are grouped around the theme of water as an element that connects people through stories of resistance and violence. Works by Hassan Khan, Cinthia Marcelle and Dave McKenzie inspire thoughts on mediation or how we use technology and sound to relate to one another. The screening and discussions are an opportunity to expand our understanding of the political and creative context from which these artists’ practices emerge.

Each screening will be followed by a conversation with the artists, moderated by Jamal Batts. Batts is a doctoral candidate at UC Berkeley and a member of the curatorial collective The Black Aesthetic who was the curatorial intern for Soft Power.

Latoya Ruby Frazier And The Sister Tour
Saturday, December 14 | Phyllis Wattis Theater
Free admission. First come, first served.

Join artist LaToya Ruby Frazier, poets Shea Cobb (her collaborator and subject of her series Flint is Family, Part 2) and Amber Hasan and other invited guests of The Sister Tour (a community organization of artists from Flint, Michigan) for an afternoon of conversations, spoken word and performances in response to and as an expression of resilience to the ongoing water crisis in Flint.

Bodies At The Border Symposium
Free admission. First come, first served.

  • Friday, January 24, 2020 | Institute Of The Arts And Sciences, UC Santa Cruz
  • Saturday, January 25, 2020 | Phyllis Wattis Theater

Bodies at the Borders is a two-day symposium addressing the politics of borders as they intersect with issues of sexual orientation, gender identity, ethnicity and race. With film screenings, poetry readings, performances and panel discussions, the symposium accompanies installations by Carlos Motta on view at SFMOMA and UC Santa Cruz.

The symposium, produced by Motta in collaboration with Rachel Nelson, UCSC Institute of the Arts and Sciences, will feature performances by Rafa Esparza and Demian DinéYazhi´, film screenings of 4 Waters: Deep Implicancy by Denise Ferreira da Silva and Arjuna Neuman and Deseos by Carlos Motta, and a keynote presentation by Julio Salgado, among other speakers. Bodies at the Borders brings together artists, activists, poets and scholars to confront the histories and presents of migration and the production of borders as sites of inclusion and exclusion.


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Cost: FREE*
*Free admission. First come, first served.
Categories: *Top Pick*, Art & Museums, Movies
Venue: SFMOMA
Address: 151 Third Street, San Francisco, CA

Saturday, October 26, 2019

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*Free admission. First come, first served.
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