Pier 24 is a place to view and think about photography. Those are their words, not mine, by the way, but I tried not to plagiarize and didn’t come up with an introduction more succinct to describe the place.
It’s quite literally under the Bay Bridge – that’s the thing you see over the building. This was my first time here and if you’re into photography, and in the Bay Area, it’s worth taking the time to come.
The current exhibit is called HERE and has works by Bay area photographers with many of the photos actually of SF or surrounding areas. The photos span over a century and include a diverse and eclectic collection of things including mug shots of SF residents in the early 1900’s, nudes by Edward Weston, and contemporary photos by Richard Misrach of the bay.
What I found intriguing was not only the photography, but the way that things were hung. Very few photos were shown singly. Things were grouped and framed in unique ways. In the case of the mug shots, the photos were clippped to the wall.
There are no curator’s cards or descriptions attached to the wall. There’s no taped tour and relatively little guidance in the printed guide offered at the front desk. I suppose that gives the viewer a chance to come up with their own conclusions about the photos, but I would’ve welcomed a little more context than what was provided.
Entry is free by appointment and only Monday through Thursday. Visitors are allowed two hours to wander through. The atmosphere is very quiet and contemplative. They only let a few people in at a time to ensure that viewers have the time, space, quiet, and environment to truly view and think in an uninterrupted way.
So…after viewing and thinking, my thoughts on this exhibit: HERE is an exhibit that makes one think. It’s not a very pretty exhibit. It’s got some unsettling pictures. But the space and curating is wonderful and if art is about creating an emotional link between artist and audience (Tolstoy said something like that), I think HERE does that.
And Pier 24 is in an awesome location.