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Indybay Feature

Chasing Justice

Thursday, November 19, 2015
11:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Event Type:
Contemporary Jewish Museum
Location Details:
The Contemporary Jewish Museum
736 Mission Street
San Francisco, CA 94103

Inspired by the biblical exhortation to “pursue justice and justice alone,” The Contemporary Jewish Museum presents Chasing Justice, a new exhibition featuring the work of Arnold Mesches, Johanna Barron, and Robbin Henderson, three artists of Jewish heritage who have, through activism, research, and engagement with the government, produced bodies of work that explore different approaches to this Jewish commitment. From surveillance to arrest, the three artists shine a light on controversial government practices that often remain hidden, unseen, or forgotten.

The exhibition features ten pieces from Mesches’ series The FBI Files (2001–03) in which the artist turned the government’s investigations of him into portals for creative expression, resulting in the creation of a kind of illuminated manuscript for the modern world. Johanna Barron also used the Freedom Of Information Act to obtain the starting materials for her ongoing series Acres of Walls (2015), recreations of a selection of paintings that hang in the secretive CIA headquarters in Virginia. Berkeley-based Robbin Henderson contributes fifty-five artworks created as part of her portfolio, Matilda Robbins: Immigrant, Wobbly, Feminist (2013–15). Matilda Robbins was a Jewish immigrant from Russia who became an itinerant labor activist throughout the Northeast in the years before WWII, and was also Henderson’s grandmother. Through the creation of a sort of “graphic memoir” representing her grandmother’s story, Matilda Robbins: Immigrant, Wobbly, Feminist provides a contemporary interpretation of what pursuing justice in the early twentieth century looked like.

Chasing Justice is organized by The Contemporary Jewish Museum, San Francisco.

WHEN: November 19, 2015–February 21, 2016

TIME: Open daily (except Wed.): 11am–5pm and Thursday, 11am–8pm

WHERE: The Contemporary Jewish Museum, 736 Mission Street, San Francisco

ADMISSION: $12 adults, $10 students and senior citizens with a valid ID, and $5 on Thursdays after 5pm. Youth 18 and under free.

INFO: Visit or call 415.655.7800

Added to the calendar on Wed, Nov 11, 2015 1:14PM
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