Photographed by Daisy Mendez

Entering an art institution whose design expresses intellectual lucidity and passion, as a visitor, you instantly become captivated. The Yerba Buena Center for the Arts proves to explore creativity and does so for the betterment of society. This noted in each design and complexity of representing exhibitions.

On both floors of the institutions, you will find two distinctive ones. Beginning on the first floor and found in an open space is “Talking to Power / Hablándole al Poder” by Tania Bruguera. Bruguera, a renowned artist, and activist, expresses her Cuban roots through both installations and performances. She revolves her focus around political and social issues, all of which continue to affect thousands of humans around the world e.g. immigrants. Walking throughout the exhibition itself, each visitor sees compelling signs with writings such as:

“I am today what your grandparents were yesterday”
“La dignidad no tiene nacionalidad”

published articles representing years of devotion to movements for the people & representations of ideas arrayed on various white boards displayed on stances or elevated above on the walls.

This being a result of a recently concluded YBCA’s gallery-turned-classroom, Escuela de Arte Útil. YBCA convened weekly classes from June 20 to August 10, 2017, where Tania Bruguera herself taught alongside other prominent artist-educators, on topics such as systems of power and creative dissent. A cohort of YBCA Fellows was selected to serve as primary pupils and members of the public were welcomed to attend as well.

Live stream videos of keynote lectures can be found here.

Photographed by Daisy Mendez

Leaving Tania’s exhibit and taking the stairs upward you will be exposed to the work of Damon Rich and Jae Shin. Rich, a designer/ planner and Shin an architect collaborated to create Space Brainz. As described at the art institute, “the art center becomes a laboratory for dissecting how power works through a built space.” In this exhibition, you experience a variety of stories. Rich’s and Shin’s purpose with Space Brainz, is to draw its audience with these stories that involve projects in North America cities; including faults and improvements within the community. In the vibrant room, you will see constructed models, photographs of individuals and communities, as well as personal drawings from all participants.

Photographed by Daisy Mendez

A notable commonality between the two exhibitions is the contribution and influence not only through the work but the impact the artists themselves have made. Their known reputation has become what it is today from their optimal use of each resource. One specifically being social platforms. Bruguera, Rich, and Shin each have successfully created their brands and what they present. A vital step further was then to spread word and call to action. This was utilized through social media, including posts on Twitter, images on Facebook, and video reporting on YouTube.

Lastly, what is certain is the continuous support art institutions such like Yerba Buena Center for the Arts and museums such as Museum of Modern Art give to each artist for the benefit of all who observe each exhibit.

Each evolving partnership making a change in the daily lives of thousands.

Visit YBCA’s website here to find more information on current and future exhibitions.

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