Minnesota Street Project
1275 Minnesota Street
San Francisco, CA 94107
On March 17th, Glossary attended the preview party of Minnesota Street Project (MSP).
Spirits were high last night; people are hopeful about the potential that the project brings. Notwithstanding, there is much to critique as well.
Firstly, people need to be prepared for the influx of visual information. In SF, 49 Geary and various art nights have offered such critical mass, but because this platform is all in one two-story building the experience is different than neighborhood art walks/nights.
As always, it is good to see shows on off days, when it’s quiet and viewers have more room to think about the work and have meaningful conversations with the galleries. When Daniel Patterson’s café opens in the fall, this will provide a nice respite to take a break in between galleries.
Meanwhile, you can always hop across the street to Philz Coffee or many of the nearby restaurants in a few blocks walking distance. Speaking of which; there is ample parking toward the waterfront within a four block radius, and even more on weekends when the industrial businesses are not in operation. Plus, MSP is only two blocks from the Muni K/T 23rd Street exit.
I used to own a space, and we faced several access challenges at each location: one was a walk up with an elevator that didn’t work on my floor; one was in a spooky dirty flooded alley and one was behind a jewelry store. So I get it; people sometimes need reassurance to venture somewhere—even to art shows that we assume attract adventuresome and tolerant audiences—we are still plagued with stereotypes and fear. But as Andrew McClintock said last night, “There are no rules in the art world.”
Let’s embrace that more, shall we? MSP is a good start. I have written a couple of extensive articles on this space, and in general am very excited for what it brings to the Bay Area. Last year I interviewed MSP Co-founder Deborah Rappaport for artltd. And more recently interviewed Et al. gallery directors Jackie Im and Aaron Harbour for artslant. So, in general I am a huge supporter of this project.
The second major critique is with “critical mass” and the potential for “critical mess.” What I mean by that is the egalitarian “something for everyone” still leaves a big window of potential failure. This is where subjectivity comes in; within the larger whole will be shows that one person likes and another person pans. This is OK!
It’s important to begin looking at the individual galleries’ merits going forward, and continue to follow their programming; the bonus is the chance that suddenly the gallery you thought you didn’t like is showing something that catches your eye. Here are a few teasers that caught my eye:
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