San Francisco

Worlds World Worlds

The program Worlds World Worlds, presented in The Screening Room in parallel to the exhibition A Woman You Thought You Knew, presents works by Basma Alsharif, Ana Teresa Fernández, Heesoo Kwon, Anna Molska, Sandra Monterroso, and a special screening of Lynn Hershman Leeson’s !Women Art Revolution (2010). The artists construct alternative realities and immerse the viewers in a post-patriarchal future where ancestral narratives are resurfaced and cultural norms are rewritten. The program title alludes to the concept of world-building in Donna Haraway’s book Staying with the Trouble: Making Kin in the Chthulucene (2016), which calls attention to the power of the individual to imagine and construct new frameworks as a survival tactic: “It matters what thoughts think thoughts. It matters what knowledges know knowledges. It matters what relations relate relations. It matters what worlds world worlds. It matters what stories tell stories.” 

In Deep Sleep (2014), Basma Alsharif redefines the notion of place, exploring bilocation and hypnosis to traverse physical and metaphysical borders, from Malta to Athens to Gaza. Alsharif navigates dream-like states, blurring geopolitical divides to reveal a more expansive understanding of the world. In Ana Teresa Fernandez’s video Borrando la Frontera (2011), she repaints the Mexico-United States border wall in the color of the sky, erasing the physical boundary to address immigration rights, women’s empowerment, and border control, towards a just future.

In Perspective (2006), Anna Molska bends linear time and challenges perceptual boundaries, while transcending drawings into three-dimensional space, to make and unmake territories. Sandra Monterroso, in Corazón del lugar del viento (Heart of the Place of the Wind) (2022), invokes Mayan culture, by reimagining ancient rituals and female identity, through her embodiment of the female ruler and healer known as Seis Cielo (Six Sky). Heesoo Kwon in A Ritual for Metamorphosis (2023), inserts her avatar into the artist’s family’s archival home videos and “misbehaves.” The actions disrupt the domestic space, tradition, and patriarchal norms to create an alternate reality free of these confines.

A special screening of Lynn Hershman Leeson’s !Women Art Revolution (2010) will take place on May 15, 2024, at the Roxie Theater. The 83-minute documentary draws from hundreds of hours of intimate interviews conducted by Leeson with artists, curators, and critics who recount their fight to break down the barriers facing women in the art world and society.

Worlds World Worlds is presented in KADIST San Francisco’s Screening Room, a dedicated space to profile the diversity of video art and its form by featuring video works from the KADIST collection. It is co-curated by Lindsay Albert (Program Manager, KADIST San Francisco) and Lauren Pirritano (Collection Manager, KADIST San Francisco). 

Run time: 35:21 minutes