photo / Shawn McClung

(Site-specific installation on the corner of 6th and Howard St. in San Francisco)

This multi-disciplinary sculptural mural involves seemingly animated furniture; tables, chairs, lamps, grandfather clocks, a refrigerator, and couches, their bodies bent like centipedes, fastened to the walls and window-sills, their insect-like legs seeming to grasp the surfaces. Against society's expectations, these everyday objects flood out of windows like escapees, out onto available ledges, up and down the walls, onto the fire escapes and off the roof. "Defenestration" was created with the help of over 100 volunteers.
The concept of "Defenestration", a word literally meaning "to throw out of a window," is embodied by the both the site and staging of this installation. Located at the corner of Sixth and Howard Streets in San Francisco in an abandoned four-story tenement building, the site is part of a neighborhood that historically has faced economic challenge and has often endured the stigma of skid row status. Reflecting the harsh experience of many members of the community, the furniture is also of the streets, cast-off and unappreciated. The simple, unpretentious beauty and humanity of these downtrodden objects is reawakened through the action of the piece. The act of "throwing out" becomes an uplifting gesture of release, inviting reflection on the spirit of the people we live with, the objects we encounter, and the places in which we live.

photo / Shawn McClung

photo / Shawn McClung

photo / Shawn McClung

interesting interview with Brian Goggin (the creator) by  Rusty Dornin for CNN

SAN FRANCISCO (CNN) -- Look! Up in the sky! It's a table! It's a chair!

It's furniture in positions that shouldn't be possible -- 23 pieces stuck to the side of an abandoned building by an artist who's willing to go out on a ledge.

"I wanted to get art out of the gallery and out of the museum," said, Brian Goggin. "I'm interested in working with absurdity in ways that are compelling and entertaining."

Entertaining, to say the least, for the opening of urban art in what can only be described as the urban circus.

"Kind of Disneyesque or, uh, Dali," said one eyewitness. "It's definitely rocking right here man, with the furniture and everything."

Sitting on a couch that looks as if it's perched on the roof in mid-air, Goggin explains his brainchild.

"Each piece of furniture like the one I'm sitting on has a steel framework that works inside of the piece and is attached to the side of the building with wood and steel separating it," he said. "So if some piece of the building falls in an earthquake, the (art) piece will still stay here."

photo / Dawn Endico

photo / Franco Folini

photo / K Hellyer

photo / Princeps autem justus

photo / Octoferret

photo / Octoferret

photo / Elliot Harmon

photo / Tracy Collins

home / Matthew Baker

Defenestration in San Francisco

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