press release

Geography of Transterritories addresses those issues of transborder conflict that are profoundly changing global modes of production, communication, and space/time organization. Such changes have prompted new understandings both of geography and of the geopolitical strategies devised for coping with the new reality of constant displacement and transit. Traveling between different parts of the world or stuck in intermediate zones like refugee camps, displaced persons and populations now live in spaces—transterritories—to which the once-commonplace concept of home no longer unambiguously applies.

Temporary-seeming but often enough permanent, such transterritories and the peoples who occupy them have come to challenge the established boundaries of nation-states and other dominant forms of geopolitical demarcation. Though undergoing economic, political, and military oppression and exclusion, transterritorial peoples, whether intentionally or as a matter of course, establish and occupy sites that are intrinsically open to new possibilities for social, economic, and political restructuring. A potentially salutary effect of what otherwise can seem to be systematically detrimental global processes, the space opened up by the "transterritorial imagination" is a space singularly amenable to the realization of certain forms of utopic social production. Geography of Transterritories marks but one instance of many similar creative projects on the current global art scene—inside exhibitions, at conferences, within publications, and across public spaces—in which the ideas and phenomenological "facts" that underwrite the transterritorial imagination are unfolding.

Like the spaces and peoples whose ways and means have motivated it, the work included in Geography of Transterritories was itself created by a process of displacement, by territorial prerogatives that "cross over." Consistent with SFAI's transnational vision for understanding how museums, exhibition spaces, and wider contemporary culture interrelate on a global scale, Geography of Transterritories—like the exhibition World Factory that preceded it in SFAI's Walter and McBean Galleries (January–May 2007)—is a component of New Models of Production, one of five discrete yet intersecting directions, within SFAI's Exhibitions and Public Programs, for investigating current constructions of contemporary global culture.

Devised by SFAI's Director of Exhibitions and Public Programs Hou Hanru, New Models of Production examines and promotes innovative models of art production—models that lead to new definitions of art and of the role the artist may play in an era of globalized culture. This exhibition is also a forum and point of departure for further creative interventions in the public sphere—interventions that are essential to understanding contemporary creativity and current geopolitical, organizational, and global realities.

SFAI's exhibitions and public programs are supported in part by the Grants for the Arts/San Francisco Hotel Tax Fund. Geography of Transterritories is made possible through the support of swissnex San Francisco, the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia, CulturesFrance, and the Cultural Services of the Consulate General of France in San Francisco.

only in german

Geography of Transterritories
Ort: Walter and McBean Galleries
Kurator: Hou Hanru

Künstler: Michael Arcega, Ursula Biemann, CLAIRE FONTAINE , Carlos Motta, Société Réaliste