REVIEW Not every art show allows you a chance to swim in the Pacific Ocean on a Sunday afternoon and experience the bracing cold of the water and the pull of the tide. But David Wilson's "Open Endless" isn't your average show, even if it is characteristic of Wilson's community explorations of art and landscape under the Ribbons Publications rubric. Last year, he instigated a sleep-over happening at Angel Island that included live music. This month, as an extension of a show of drawings, he organized a casually beautiful mapped day and night of art in the Headlands.
No two people had the same experience. Besides a dip in the Pacific, mine included a trek up the paved trails of the North Cliff to a white diamond hung on the cliff's face by Battery Townsley, where the duo Pale Horse sang songs in a tunnel, and then a walk back down to the beach where the duo known as Coconut played music in a little cove as two, three, four, five, six surfers took on the waves during sunset. I don't have much to say about that latter experience beyond that it was the kind of moment that makes me completely glad to be alive. I left sated and went home and slept and dreamt deeply. Those who stayed ambled on through Rodeo Canyon to another Battery, where Canyon Cinema shared some cave cinema.
Wilson's drawings, on display at Tartine, are a shifting sequence of meditations on the landscape and coastlines of the Headlands. His deployment of color and line is understated. The brashest aspect of the show is its use of material: the largest piece, a 22-foot watercolor of the ocean and shore, uses the blank-but-aged paper of record sleeves and the cardboard insides of albums covers as a backdrop. It's a great tactic. Earlier this year at the de Young Museum, Ajit Chauhan performed a different but similarly large-scale trick with album covers, painting over their exteriors so that only eyes peeked from the original artwork. Wilson's use of vintage music matter hints at the merging of art and that which is codified "nature" at the core of his events. I'm already looking forward to his next one.
OPEN ENDLESS Through May 28. Mon., 8 a.m.7 p.m. Tues.Wed., 7:30 a.m.7 p.m.; Thurs.Fri., 7:30 a.m.8 p.m.; Sat., 8 a.m.8 p.m.; Sun., 9 a.m.-8 p.m. (415) 487-2600. Tartine, 600 Guerrero, SF. www.ribbonspublications.blogpost.com