Program Type: 
Allan deSouza

Close Quarters and Far Pavilions

October 01, 2011 - January 08, 2012
Upstairs Galleries


PAUSE: Practice & Exchange
Allan deSouza
Close Quarters and Far Pavilions
Oct 1, 2011 – Jan 8, 2012  •  Upstairs Galleries

Allan deSouza's new video and photographic installation, Close Quarters and Far Pavilions, consists of a four-channel video work of multiple sequences shot from inside commercial flights at the time of take-offs and landings. The title, influenced by M.M. Kaye's 1978 novel about conflicting identities and split loyalties set in India and Afghanistan, suggests the aircrafts' cramped spaces and the hand-to-hand combat of “close quarters,” as well as the exotic allure of faraway places. Each flight in the videos is en route to or from San Francisco, enacting a series of perpetual departures and arrivals. For two videos, the source images are digitally split into two mirror images. In some cases the outside plane wing forms a sinister, self-sufficient object resembling stealth aircraft or drones, which we familiarly associate with surveillance, particularly in the recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. In two additional videos, similar clips are visually abstracted into circular target-like forms that resemble the rotation of jet engines. The seemingly abstract form is rendered understandable through the soundtrack of the familiar engine drone, cabin announcements and passenger conversations. Photographs of the landscape below, also taken in-flight, complement the videos. These “ordinary” views of land- and skyscapes are also rendered into mirror images. They suggest human-made shrines, mythological figures, aliens and other figments of the social imagination.

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  • Allan deSouza: Close Quarters and Far Pavilions
    September 30, 2011 – January 8, 2012
    Upstairs Galleries
  • How Tasty Was My Little Frenchman
    Oct 1, 2011 2:00pm
    Screening Room
    FREE w/ gallery admission

    A screening of Nelson Pereira dos Santos’ 1971 film, How Tasty Was My Little Frenchman, in a new 16mm transfer print. The film tells the odd comic tale of culture clash and cannibalism that take place in 16th century Brazil, during the French and Portuguese battle for possession of the territory. Local Tupinambá Indians capture a Frenchman, believing him to be one of their Portuguese enemies. Despite his protests, the tribe prepares an elaborate ritual in which they plan to consume their hapless prisoner, hoping to appropriate their perceived foe's strength. (1971, 84 min, 16mm)

  • Performative Lecture by Pamela Z
    Oct 6, 2011 6:00pm
    Large Conference Room
    FREE w/ gallery admission

    Pamela Z is a San Francisco-based composer/performer and media artist who works primarily with voice, live electronic processing, sampling technology, and video. A pioneer of live digital looping techniques, she creates solo works combining experimental extended vocalization, operatic bel canto, found objects, text, digital processing, and MIDI controllers that allow her to manipulate sound with physical gestures.

    Photo courtesy of Ars Electronica

  • Round Table Discussion with Allan deSouza
    Oct 8, 2011 2:00pm
    Large Conference Room
    FREE w/ gallery admission

    A roundtable discussion led by Allan deSouza with Bay Area writers, curators, and artists.

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Artist Bio

Allan deSouza
Allan deSouza (b. Kenya) is a San Francisco-based artist. His photographs, texts, installations and performances examine in humorous, intimate and disquieting ways the relationship between the individual body and larger ideological and historical forces. His work has been exhibited extensively in the US and internationally, including at the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; 2008 Gwangju Biennale, Korea; 3rd Guangzhou Triennale; and in recent solo exhibitions at the Phillips Collection, DC; Fowler Museum, LA; Krannert Art Museum, Champaign, IL; and Talwar Gallery, NY and Delhi. His works have also been included in the large-scale traveling exhibitions Looking Both Ways (Museum for African Art, NY); Africa Remix (Museum Kunst Palast, Dusseldorf); and Snap Judgments (International Center for Photography, NY), among others.

YBCA's programs are made possible in part by:
Abundance Foundation
Koret Foundation
National Endowment for the Arts
Novellus Systems

YBCA Exhibitions 11–12 is made possible in part by:
Mike Wilkins and Sheila Duignan, Meridee Moore and Kevin King, and Members of Yerba Buena Center for the Arts

Free First Tuesdays:
Underwritten by Directors Forum Members