Featuring works by Amy Balkin, Tania Bruguera, Candy Chang, Minerva Cuevas, Agnes Denes, Tatyana Fazlalizadeh, Karen Finley, Coco Fusco, Guerrilla Girls, Sharon Hayes, Lynn Hershman Leeson, Jenny Holzer, Emily Jacir, Suzanne Lacy, Marie Lorenz, Susan O’Malley, Adrian Piper, Laurie Jo Reynolds and Tamms Year Ten, Favianna Rodriguez, Bonnie Ora Sherk, Stephanie Syjuco, and Mierle Laderman Ukeles.

Tania Bruguera, Tatlin’s Whisper #6 (Havana Version), 2009. Courtesy the artist


Tatlin’s Whisper #6 (Havana Version), 2009

Public Works: Artists’ Interventions 1970s–Nowexamines strategies of public practice by women artists from the 1970s to the present. The exhibition presents photography, prints, audio, video, and installations from a number of important historical and contemporary projects that explore the inherent politics and social conditions of creating art in public space.

Moving beyond traditional views of public art as monumental and/or permanent artworks, Public Works focuses on the often small but powerful temporary artistic interventions found online and in the urban environment. Through various tactics, the exhibition explores themes of public space, public expression, public action, public platforms, and public life through the evolving lens of participatory projects, socially engaged performance, and political action, among other media.

Stephanie Syjuco, Detail from Ultimate Vision (Dazzle Camouflage), 2013. Courtesy the artist and Catharine Clark Gallery, San Francisco


Ultimate Vision (Dazzle Camouflage), 2013

A series of public commissions are featured alongside the works in the gallery, including Susan O’Malley’sYou Are Exactly Where You Need to Be (2012), a temporary mural on the facade of the museum and available as a take-away postcard; a newly commissioned gallery installation and newspaper intervention in the Oakland Tribune by Favianna Rodriguez; and off-site performance commissions by Constance Hockaday and Jenifer K. Wofford, produced by Southern Exposure in partnership with MCAM for Public Works.

Bonnie Ora Sherk, Sitting Still I, 1970, San Francisco. Courtesy the artist


Sitting Still I, 1970, San Francisco

The fully illustrated exhibition catalogue of the same title features an introduction by MCAM Director Stephanie Hanor, PhD, essays by curators Christian L. Frock and Tanya Zimbardo, and conversations and texts from María del Carmen Carrión, Courtney Fink, Leila Grothe, Valerie Imus, and Meredith Johnson. Available here.

Public Works is curated by Christian L. Frock, independent curator and writer, and Tanya Zimbardo, Assistant Curator of Media Arts at SFMOMA.

The exhibition is supported in part by the Phyllis C. Wattis Foundation.