Exhibition Title: Global Lives Project
Location: Yerba Buena Center for the Arts 701 Mission Street San Francisco, CA 94103-3138
Dates: February 26 - June 20, 2010
Opening night for the Global Lives Project at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA) was an interesting experience. I walked in with two friends into the Room for Big Ideas at YBCA, which is this big high ceiling room, where the Global Lives Project was exhibited in the form of multiple screens hanging from the ceiling at different heights and depths. It was dark, the light available came from the projectors, there was a cash bar, a sushi-taco concoction stand, a DJ, and masses of people chatting, drinking, eating and gazing.
If I had to ignore the party going on – which quite frankly was hard – I could appreciate the way the Global Lives Project was being exhibited. The way the screens were hung made them have an interesting three-dimensionality, where they appeared to block one another depending on where I would stand to watch. It was difficult to maintain focus, since all ten screens where displaying 24 hours in the lives on ten different people. A screen for every person that my two eyes could not handle – at least not with the event going on.
Global Lives Project is a video installation that pretends to represent diversity by portraying a day in the lives of ten people from Lebanon, Serbia, China, India, Japan, Malawi, Indonesia, Brazil, Kazakhstan and San Francisco. It disturbs me a bit to consider that this could be representative of humankind’s diversity, since I’m from Mexico, and there is not a single person from a Spanish Speaking Latin American country – or any Spanish Speaker whatsoever. On the other hand, there is a tendency towards non-traditionally western countries except for San Francisco. I’m aware of the difficulty to effectively represent diversity with only ten people, but all in all I believe that the project fell short in that manner.
Global Lives Project was successful with their installation proposal designed by Sand Studios and FOURM design+build+educate. The way the screens were set up, the movement it generated, I found magnificent. I only wish I could have seen this exhibition without all that was going on with opening night, even though it was a great party. I’ll have to go back some other time.
-- CLAUDIA SCHIDLOW