Processed, canned, distributed art gallery

EnCanment was a performance installation included in the “Between the Walls” exhibition at San Francisco’s venerable Southern Exposure art gallery. Curated by Emily Sevier, “Between the Walls” was the final show in 2006 before the gallery closed for seismic retrofitting. For the exhibition, artists were encouraged to consider ideas of migration, transition, improvisation and community.

Over the course of its 32-year tenure, Southern Exposure has hosted hundreds of artist and community gatherings. The physical space of the SoEx gallery community is an accretion of cultural value and sedimentation of SoEx’s mission to bring art to diverse audiences.

In response to the concept of the exhibition, and in celebration of Southern Exposure’s rich history in this space, Rebar created EnCanment — a temporary canning operation that harvested, processed and canned the gallery itself. Rebar systematically mapped and cored sections of the gallery wall and, utilizing the latest in industrial assembly-line technology, canned the cores in metal cans on-site during the opening and closing night events. Cans were then labeled and sold to support SoEx and Rebar.

EnCanment is situated in the historical context of the gallery, which occupies a former industrial site that once housed the American Can Company. The earliest incarnation of SoEx called itself the “American Can Collective.”

By creating processed, canned gallery space and distributing that space to the SoEx community, Rebar sought to preserve both the physical manifestation and the spirit of the gallery while SoEx underwent a radical transformation.

Have a look at a concise short video of EnCanment on KQED’s “SPARK” television program.

EnCanment was a Rebar project conceived by Matthew Passmore.

  • Date: 2006
  • Client: Southern Exposure Gallery
  • Location: San Francisco, CA

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