Recology San Francisco Artist in Residence Exhibitions: Work by Samuel Levi Jones, Jeremy Rourke and Shushan Tesfuzigta

August 20, 2014
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

When:
Reception-Friday, September 26, 5-9pm
Saturday, September 27, 1-3pm
Additional viewing hours-Tuesday, September 30, 5-7pm, with gallery walk-through with artists at 7pm

Where:
Art Studio, 503 Tunnel Avenue and Environmental Learning Center, 401 Tunnel Avenue, San Francisco, CA

Admission is free and open to the public, all ages welcome, wheelchair accessible.

San Francisco, CA–The Artist in Residence Program at Recology San Francisco will host an exhibition and reception for current artists-in-residence Samuel Levi Jones, Jeremy Rourke and student artist Shushan Tesfuzigta on Friday, September 26, from 5-9pm and Saturday, September 27, from 1-3pm. Additional viewing hours will be held on Tuesday, September 30, from 5-7pm. This exhibition will be the culmination of four months of work by the artists who have scavenged materials from the dump to make art and promote recycling and reuse.


Samuel Levi JonesSamuel Levi Jones: Disposing Histories
During his residency, Samuel Levi Jones has disassembled objects to metaphorically deconstruct the accepted beliefs connected with them. Expanding on earlier work, Jones collected encyclopedias as well as medical reference books during his residency, removing their covers and reassembling the skin-like material into formal grids. As two-dimensional works for the wall, the pieces have a painterly quality with remnants of the book boards and glue appearing like abstract markings. By literally tearing apart these books—symbols of esteemed knowledge and arbiters of what is considered important—Jones questions the veracity of the written word and the reverence we place on it, while also speaking to imperfect paradigms, such as Western medicine.

While scavenging for books, Jones also discovered discarded sports balls, and working primarily with footballs and basketballs, he has used the same process of removing and reconfiguring their coverings. Jones likens the act of taking apart the balls and understanding their construction to learning the inner workings of establishments, such as organized sports, in order to navigate systems and succeed. Jones has also chosen to use the interior side of the leather from the balls which he stitches together. In contrast to the familiar tough exteriors of sports balls, the reverse side of the leather has a softer, more vulnerable quality and suggests issues of the personal within institutional systems.

Jones grew up in Indiana where he received a BFA from the Herron School of Art and Design in Indianapolis. He received an MFA from Mills College and has exhibited in San Francisco at Jessica Silverman Gallery and Root Division, and in Southern California at Papillion Gallery in Los Angeles.


Jeremy Rourke

Jeremy Rourke: Lyrics on the Paper
A man falls through space until his parachute suddenly opens, slowing his descent back to his departure point. In a desert landscape two women talk by a campfire, their words mingling with the drifting smoke. In Jeremy Rourke’s stop-motion animated videos anything is possible, and his combination of vintage photographs, contemporary imagery, text, and even unlikely materials such as rose petals, fire and water, come together magically to create moments of beauty and surprise.

Rourke’s detailed working process begins with cut paper collage which he painstakingly manipulates as he photographs at twelve frames per second. A single short three-minute animated piece is composed of 2,160 individual photographs. Though he uses computer software to assemble the frames into his final video, he does not use Photoshop, After Affects, or any other digital means to manipulate his work. Instead, Rourke uses a range of techniques, from placing images on layered sheets of glass in order to create depth, to painting words on his scenes and pealing away photos to create transitions.

At Recology Rourke encountered a generous supply of photographs, magazines, sheet music and other materials, and his choice of vintage imagery gives his work the look of bygone days come to life. Rourke’s videos are presented in tandem with his own musical compositions, and his live cinema performances connect to traditions of traveling road shows and small town entertainment in the early 20th century. He will screen his video and perform at designated times throughout the exhibition. Rourke will also present a video work that responds to the Recology facility, exhibit collage stills from his videos, and has promised a completed art car created from dump finds.

Rourke’s films have screened in locations including Atlanta, Chicago, and Portland, Oregon, and internationally at the Budapest Short International Film Festival and the Wimbledon International Short Film Festival. In 2011, Rourke was named, “Best New Animator/Musician” by SF Weekly.


Shushan TesfuzigtaShushan Tesfuzigta: Come Sit with Me
Shushan Tesfuzigta has used her Recology residency to further her mission to create sustainable work at the intersection of industrial design and textiles. She is highly mindful about her use of materials and is committed to a practice that avoids waste. Raised in a traditional Eritrean household, she describes herself as, “a hybrid of ancient tradition and contemporary culture,” and attributes the ethical nature of her artistic practice to the influence of her mother and grandmother. Tesfuzigta also believes that product designers have a lot to learn from global craft traditions that often have a greater reverence for materials and the resources used to make them.

During her residency, Tesfuzigta has created chairs, stools, and other functional objects that combine weaving techniques with found materials. Bent rebar and other metal forms become the frameworks on which phone cords and colorful plastic-coated wires are woven. Tesfuzigta embraces the low-tech aspect of her materials and process, as well as the possibility that anyone could replicate what she’s doing, if given a little instruction. To this end, she is producing a zine with how-to information and diagrams of her pieces. Her goal is to empower people to transform the materials they might normally discard into functional objects. Tesfuzigta is in her final year as an undergraduate at the California College of the Arts where she will complete an individualized major.


About the Recology Artist in Residence Program
Since 1990, the Artist in Residence Program at Recology San Francisco has encouraged the conservation of natural resources while instilling a greater appreciation for art and the environment in children and adults. This one-of-a-kind program enables artists to work in studio space on site for four months, use materials recovered from the Public Disposal and Recycling Area, and speak to students and the general public about reuse and their residency experiences. Over one-hundred professional Bay Area artists have completed residencies. Applications are accepted annually in August.