The Secret of the Ninth Planet
April 24-May 24, 2009

Featured concurrently at:

Queen’s Nails Projects
3191 Mission Street, San Francisco

Photo Epicenter
26 Lilac Street, San Francisco

The Secret of the Ninth Planet is the 2009 final thesis exhibition presented by students in the Graduate Program in Curatorial Practice at California College of the Arts in San Francisco.

The show takes its title from a 1959 Donald A. Wollheim novel of the same name. In the book, evil colonialist curators display in vitrines captured members of various intergalactic cultures. Operating counter to this model of the curator as authoritarian cultural anthropologist, CCA’s nine graduate student curators focus instead on works that deal in one way or another with ideas of time, space, and travel. The featured artworks are in a variety of media, from video and sound installations to (in the artist Suzanne Treister’s words) “delusional, time-traveling watercolors.” The galleries are illuminated not by overhead lighting, but by light emitted from the works themselves.

The metaphor of liberation extends as well to the show’s organizational premise. As opposed to the traditional concept of an exhibition as a zone of stable definition and order, The Secret of the Ninth Planet is united, somewhat paradoxically, by a disavowal of order. The dual-venue installation is also a deliberate attempt to offer expanded possibilities for interpretation of the works’ layered content.

Artists in the exhibition: Raymond Boisjoly, Chu Yun, Jasmina Cibic, Maryam Jafri, Yael Kanarek, Kitty Kraus, Gabriel Lester, Euan Macdonald, Gianni Motti, Kamau Patton, Dario Robleto, Sham Saenz, Tokihiro Sato, Suzanne Treister, Matt Volla, and Hillary Wiedemann.

The exhibition is accompanied by an illustrated catalog with artist works and essays, including a commissioned text by the renowned theorist and curator Lars Bang Larsen.

Exhibition opening:

Friday, April 24, 7-11 p.m.: Queen’s Nails Projects (3191 Mission Street, San Francisco) and Photo Epicenter (26 Lilac Street, San Francisco). A shuttle between the venues will be provided.

Additional programming at Galería de la Raza, 2857 24th Street, San Francisco:

April 26, 11 a.m.: “How Pluto Lost Its Status as a Planet (And Why It Had It Coming),” a lecture by popular astronomy educator Andrew Fraknoi

May 13, 8 p.m.: Screening of short animations and films

May 22, 8 p.m.: A live performance by Lucky Dragons and Avocet

Organized by the Graduate Program in Curatorial Practice at
California College of the Arts
1111 Eighth Street
San Francisco CA 94107-2247
T: 415.551.9239