As noted on the Wattis Web site, "Passengers" is a "constantly transforming exhibition of emerging international contemporary artists, none of whom have ever had a solo presentation in an American public art institution." It's structured around 12 artists: 11 with a few pieces, and one with a somewhat larger presentation, in a literal white cube space, before the latter artist leaves the show and another from the 11 remaining cycles into the bigger box.
The eclectic range of works by artists familiar to Frieze readers but who will probably turn up in biennials down the line tend to be funky and/or conceptual in bent and include Annette Kelm's serial photos of a woven baseball cap; Valérie Mréjen's short films about enacting various identities; and Federico Herrero's painting project (though Aug. 30), which also involves a mural on a Potrero Hill home.
On Sept. 2 the show morphs into "The Exhibition Formerly Known as Passengers" coincidentally with a showcase of works by San Francisco artist Tauba Auerbach, whose Alphabetized Bible (2006) is included, in editioned form, in "246" and "Passengers." The exhibition's form will shift as well: after each solo presentation, the artist will leave the show, but none will be added. The final artist, Aurelien Froment, gets the entire space in August 2009. This may not be fair to the previous "Passengers," but it does make for a tidy denouement.
Like "246," the "Passengers" structure is perhaps more memorable than any of its works, making both meta-projects: shows about the act of making shows. It's fitting, then, that Hoffman's title salutes Prince, who has constantly reinvented himself, the structures of music distribution, and performance platforms. The musical artist has had his share of misfire projects, but you always know he's going to come up with some convincing new challenge to cultural consumption. *
246 AND COUNTING: RECENT ARCHITECTURE + DESIGN ACQUISITIONS
Through Jan. 4, 2009
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
151 Third St., SF
For hours and prices go to www.sfmoma.org
PASSENGERS: 1.12 FEDERICO HERRERO
Through Aug. 30
"The Exhibition Formerly Known as Passengers" runs Sept. 2Aug. 29, 2009
CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts
1111 Eighth St., SF
For hours go to www.wattis.org