i’ve been working on You’re Better Than History (which opens next week at Adobe Books & Backroom Gallery) since shortly after I arrived in SF this summer. the project has required a huge number of hours to complete. the first portion of research: thumbing through hundreds of used books looking for notes, was pretty straight forward. we’d show up at a bookstore, grab a chair and just start flipping through pages (we found that philosophy books tended to have the most writing as students tried to make sense of the dense literature as they were reading it). many of the book store workers were excited by the project and showed us their own collections of items they had found in used books. one woman was writing a series of short stories based on the photographs she found, great stuff.
the design and completion of the banners has also required many hours (it’s rewarding to see the project materialize). we’ve been working with Dora Luz, an artist and educator at the Mission Cultural Center, who has been an amazing resource in understanding some of the history and background of papel picado, the craft form which the banners are inspired by. the concept was to take the form of papel picado as a point of departure and to make designs that reflected our own aesthetics. below are some pics of the banners in process:
in Mexico, artisans lay out multiple sheets of craft paper and then place a drawing template over the top. they’ll then use chisels to remove the negative space in the drawing – our process was similar except we used an x-acto blade for all of our cuts.
in the final version, the banners will be hung on strings throughout Adobe. they are extremely delicate, but also large and saturated with color.
You’re Better Than History opens November 1st.