'Double Take: A Billboard Project'
Through fall 2005, various locations in San Francisco
DON'T BE SURPRISED if, when walking down the street, you suddenly stop and ask, "What did I just see?" Throughout the year, Felipe Dulzaides will be mounting a series of installations, titled "Double Take," for which he photographs a component of the cityscape, enlarges it roughly tenfold, and mounts it on a nearby billboard. Each installation only lasts a month, and two pieces have already come and gone. Behind a lamppost at the corner of Howard and 10th Streets, Dulzaides displayed an image of the lamppost, shot from below, with a background of blue sky interrupted only by a passing cloud. And on the side of a building on Valencia at 22nd Street, he installed a picture of the basketball hoop in a neighboring lot. As images of everyday phenomena, the installations can almost be overlooked, but the distortion of their scale catches the eye and requires a second glance. The question posed in this double take "What am I looking at?" thematizes the aesthetics of the surrounding city and calls attention not only to what is there but also to what it might mean. Dulzaides does not merely represent the city; he engages dynamics of city life already in play. His installations interact with local architecture and invite reflection on the city as social and psychological terrain. He brings to the fore the open skies in the flatlands of South of Market (which may be gone before long) and celebrates the neighborhood basketball court as a locus of friendships, aspirations, and athleticism. On March 15, Dulzaides mounted two new installations. A wall on Turk at Hyde now displays an image of a three-story-tall window. And downtown on Folsom at Main, an image of the yellow street-dividing lines rises up into the distance and intersects with the lines of the surrounding skyscrapers. The project was funded in part by Clear Channel, which deserves credit accordingly. But the installations also provoke consideration of what might be possible if public space were not so thoroughly commodified a question with potentially broad implications for social change. The project will culminate in a publication with photodocumentation and a short story by Ben Ehrenreich. "Double Take" has been organized by New Langton Arts, 1246 Folsom, S.F. (415) 626-5416. For more information about the project, go to www.newlangtonarts.org. (Clark Buckner)