Irving Street Projects
415 - 282 - 2299
April 9, 2016
April 16 – Mark Harris, Artist
May 14 – Justin Gomer, American Studies
May 21 – Ellen C. Feiss, Art History
Using news photographs, memorabilia, reconstructed objects, documentary fragments, and original documents, contemporary artist Kate Haug re-tells the story of the 1968 Poor People’s Campaign, Martin Luther King, Jr.’s last monumental social protest prior to his assassination. The exhibition features images and objects culled from Haug’s extensive research in the archives of the Associated Press, Ebay, King’s writings, and the popular press, which bring to life the complex ambition of King’s vision.
King began organizing the Poor People’s Campaign (PPC) in 1967 to unify America’s poor across class rather than racial lines, believing that economic parity, after the devastating economic impacts of slavery, discrimination, and segregation, was key to African American equality within the United States
The PPC culminated with a 3,000 person shanty town named Resurrection City, constructed on the National Mall in Washington DC. Resurrection City, which drew people from all over the country, was the nineteen sixties version of the 1932 Bonus March and a predecessor to “Occupy”. The exhibition time frame for this show mirrors many of the actual dates of the campaign, tracing the Resurrection City’s opening day to its final destruction.
The PPC echoes aspects of current social movements such as Fight for Fifteen, Our Walmart, and Black Lives Matter. In San Francisco, a city with one the highest rates of income inequality in the United States, King’s work asks pointed questions about the contemporary social contract and the democratic promise of America.
Haug commissioned a series of unique objects, specific to this show by artists Ivan Uranga and Michael Thede, Raphael Villet, and Susie Williams. Haug worked with Susie Williams to produce a series of re-constituted posters, signs, and slogans and a featured, large scale drawing based on an image found in Jill Freedman’s Old News: Resurrection City. Raphael Villet produced custom risograph reproductions of Jet, Life, and Look magazines. Ivan Uranga and Michael Thede created a scale model of Resurrection City, which accurately replicates models used to commemorate official buildings and historical events.
News Today: A History of the Poor People’s Campaign in Real Time runs from April 9, 2016 to June 25, 2016 with an opening reception on Saturday, April 9, 2016 from 2-4pm. Gallery hours are Saturdays from 1-5, and by appointment. Additional public programs will be announced.
Kate Haug is a San Francisco-based artist and writer. Her short films have been screened internationally at festivals including MOMA’s New Directors/New Films, the London International Film Festival, and the Sao Paolo International Short Film Festival.
Haug holds an MFA from UC San Diego in critical theory and experimental film. She was curatorial fellow at the Whitney Independent Study program where she co-curated, “Dirt and Domesticity: Constructions of the Feminine” at the Whitney’s Philip Morris Branch in New York City. For several years, she taught in the Bay Area at University of San Francisco, San Francisco Art Institute, San Francisco State, and the College of San Mateo.
Prior to News Today, she collaborated with Ivan Uranga and Veva Edelson on a series of public posters commenting on technology, culture, and the 21st century economy. To see this work, visit: www.publicpost.us.