This piece / mock group show, was installed in SFAI’s Diego Rivera Gallery. Seeking to subvert the silent, faux-optimist narrative that the school would triumph over any adversity, we instead asked the students, faculty, and staff, to imagine a scenario where the school not only closed down, but it was also bought by a competing school. Perhaps, that could be a beautiful thing too.
5 months later SFAI announced its possible closure.
From the artists’ statement: Across the street from the most expensive real state listing in San Francisco, considered by many the most expensive city in North America, sits SFAI. In a state of perpetual uncertainty, the San Francisco Art Institute struggles to keep afloat.
When confronted by collapse, what do we make of our failures? When confronted by a terminal condition, how do we come to terms with loss without losing sight of what comes next?
The Institute fights to keep its place against the increasingly surreal costs of living in this city, one that favors pop-up museums over contemporary museums. So, the school keeps sliding from our hands into a seamlessly endless schedule of weddings and corporate events that take place in our classrooms.
This show is an invitation, a refreshing alternative, to let go of the burdens and pressures of trying to lift an institution that isn’t only past its prime but even struggles to make ends meet.
In the fashion of the European genre Memento Mori, we encourage you to reconcile with the beauty of endings. This institution might die, but so will we and everything that surrounds us.