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Where to From There? 

When: Nov. 26-Jan. 10 2014
In 1937, Gertrude Stein famously wrote, “There is no there there,” in reference to her hometown of Oakland. By the time she had returned as an adult, the home she grew up in was gone and the city she remembered had completely transformed. Since, Oakland has continued to change. Playing off of Stein’s widely quoted description, this year’s annual juried exhibition at Pro Arts (150 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza, Oakland), Where to From There?, features the submissions of 21 artists that collectively work to situate us within that trajectory of change. Juried by artist, writer, and curator Arnold J. Kemp, the selected works portray non-normative beauty with romantic and playful approaches similar to Stein’s writings. Harris David Harris’ “Bound — What If All My Friends Were Dying? What If All My Friends Were Dead?” is among the most thoughtful pieces in the show. It’s a series of framed video portraits that appear to be vintage photographs from the Eighties, but actually move just slightly, imbuing a ghostly vitality to their subjects. Harris’ work highlights the ways in which today’s hip youth culture appropriates the aesthetic of 1980s queer communities, while calling attention to the ignorance of the AIDS epidemic within that nostalgia.
— Sarah Burke


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