Landfill/Bedrock is a group exhibition featuring Thomas Campbell, Maria Guzman Capron, Richard Colman, Michael Dotson, Joey Enos, Sam Friedman, James Gobel, Rebekah Goldstein, Sarah Hotchkiss, Malcolm Kenter, Greg Lamarche, Caroline Larsen, Danielle Lawrence, Lana Licata, Marcela Pardo, Hilary Pecis, Cleon Peterson, Ben Quinn, Josh Reames, Megan Reed, Laura Rokas, Tosha Stimage, and Maryam Yousif.
Under drastic seismic activity, bedrock remains firm, while landfill is prone to liquefaction – a process whereby a solid becomes liquid – and thus unstable. Ask any longtime resident of the city what their home is built on, and you’re likely to get either an assured “bedrock”, or a resigned “landfill”. The substrate upon which we build has the potential for dire consequences. The Bayview, home to the new Guerrero Gallery space, like many large swaths of the city, is built on landfill – a hasty response to the mixture of a quickly burgeoning urbanism and the area’s expansive marshlands.
Notions of foundation and stability speak quite literally to the unsure ground upon which the gallery and much of the city has been built – but also to the similarly precarious position shared by any artist or arts institution that operates within San Francisco city during such volatile economic times. The continuum of galleries shuttering and new spaces opening, has resulted in a constant process of renegotiation regarding the role and place of art within San Francisco – a kind of forced evolution. After roughly three months of programming within our own brick and mortar space, Landfill/Bedrock serves as a time to reflect on our past projects and meanderings, and our desires and directions for the future of the gallery.
The metaphorical stability intimated by the Landfill/Bedrock dichotomy can also be applied to the stages we assign to artist’s careers. With success and recognition comes a kind of solid ground within one’s own practice, and similarly the young and unestablished artist must work tirelessly in pursuit of this fleeting security. The artists shown in Landfill/Bedrock present a wide range, from mid-career and established national and local figures, to a younger generation of emerging artists forging their own practices and identities despite the countless pitfalls.
In the spirit of those who built so much of this great city upon unsure ground, we as artists, as a gallery, and as a community must continue to operate under the guise of stability – invested in personal and communal growth and the radical possibilities inherent within.