On View

Our whole, unruly selves

Human beings are boundless. We can unravel ourselves along various threads of identity—gender, ethnicity, nationality—but there are always more. The nuanced experience of existing within a body has inspired artists throughout history, and continues to drive new visual languages today. Encompassing a diverse group of artworks from the 1960s to the present, Our whole, unruly selves explores the changing stakes of figurative representation, highlighting forms of resistance, openness, and an embrace of opacity.  

Hito Steyerl: Factory of the Sun

SJMA presents the landmark video installation, Hito Steyerl’s Factory of the Sun (2015), a joint acquisition with the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, and SJMA. Interweaving genres of video games, internet dance videos, news reportage, and documentary film, the installation tells the surreal story of workers whose forced moves in a motion capture studio are turned into artificial sunlight. Factory of the Sun probes the pleasures and perils of digital image circulation, while exploring possibilities for collective resistance when surveillance has become routine in an increasingly virtual world. 

Jean Conner: Collage

Organized by SJMA, Jean Conner: Collage is the artist’s first solo museum exhibition and brings long-overdue recognition to her extraordinary and fanciful collages. Primarily made from images cut out of such large-format color magazines as Life and Ladies’ Home Journal, Conner’s vivid, pictorial worlds feature playful arrangements of animals, nature, religious symbolism, aquatic environments, food, women, dancers, and divers.

Beta Space: Trevor Paglen

Beta Space: Trevor Paglen will feature the artist’s first sound piece, a new public commission titled, There Will Come Soft Rains (2021), installed in SJMA’s historic clocktower and resounding into the streets of downtown San José from 8am–8pm on the hour, as well as sunrise, solar noon, and sunset.

Wayfinder: Juan Carlos Araujo

Wayfinder: Juan Carlos Araujo is a public art project that encourages visitors to explore the heart of downtown San José. Commissioned by SJMA, 40 streetlight banners designed by Araujo with bright, ebullient colors and vivid abstractions are installed along East Santa Clara Street between Market and 20th streets.

Pae White: Noisy Blushes

Pae White’s Noisy Blushes (2020) is a meditation on movement and time, light and color, material presence and the elusiveness of form. Commissioned by SJMA, the sculpture soars within the Museum’s thirty-foot high atrium and transforms its entrance into an experiential passageway, delivering a sublime experience for visitors.