Broadside Attractions | Vanquished Terrains is a playful collaborative project between 12 San Francisco Bay Area visual artists and 12 Bay Area writers organized by Maw Shein Win and Megan Wilson in collaboration with Kevin Chen and Intersection for the Arts.
Eliza Barrios • Paul Bridenbaugh • Karrie Hovey • Misa Inaoka • Keiko Ishihara • Patricia K. Kelly • Dwayne Marsh • Nathaniel Parsons • Christine Ponelle • Matt Rogers • Megan Wilson •Liz Worthy
Intersection for the Arts presents Broadside Attractions | Vanquished Terrains, a group exhibition that features twelve pairs of visual artists and writers creating new collaborative work that takes inspiration from the historical broadside and reflects on current events and contemporary culture using the theme of “vanquished terrains” as a point of departure.
Historically the broadside has been defined as a large sheet of paper printed on one side and designed to be plastered onto walls in public to announce events, proclamations, or news. Although broadsides were first introduced in England, they became a prime means of communication and the most common form of printed material in the early days of the U.S. before newspapers. In addition to announcements, advertisements, and commentaries, broadsides also came to feature cartoons, poems, and song lyrics. A famous example is the Dunlap broadside, the first publication of the U.S. Declaration of Independence printed on the night of July 4, 1776 by John Dunlap of Philadelphia in an estimated 200 copies.
Before newspapers, magazines, pamphlets, and the internet, there was the broadside, but unlike these other visual forms of communication, the broadside was intended to be ephemeral, i.e. temporary documents created for a specific purpose and intended to be discarded. Over time, artists and writers began to embrace the format and structure of the broadside, working with printers and publishers to create limited edition multiples of their work, oftentimes a short written piece accompanied by an illustration depicting the essence of the writing.
During the 20th Century in the U.S., Harlem Renaissance, Concrete, and Beat writers all claimed the broadside as a below-the-radar way to get their work out onto the streets. However, as printed matter has become more and more obsolete in our digital world, the broadside too has become outdated or less accessible (today poetry broadsides can be purchased as limited edition artworks through venues such as City Lights).
Organized in collaboration with curators Megan Wilson and Maw Shein Win, this project pays homage to the history of printed matter as a means of public communication, highlights cross-disciplinary work between artists and writers, and demonstrates a 21st Century reinterpretation of one of the original forms of public communication.
- Kevin Chen, Program Director: Visual Arts, Literary & Jazz at Intersection