Out of Order

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In the Surrealist game Exquisite Corpse, a paper is folded lengthwise into sections. The first player begins the drawing, extending the lines of the image just beyond the fold in the paper. The second player continues where the first left off, and so on until the paper is filled. The final result is akin to Frankenstein’s monster, a creation defined by the sum of its parts: a true collaboration.

NAIL, a collective comprised of California College of the Arts (CCA) curatorial practice students, took inspiration from this model during the conception of the exhibition, Out of Order, at PLAySPACE Gallery in San Francisco. In response to only the artwork directly preceding, each member of NAIL invited one artist to contribute a specific piece to the exhibition. Like the Surrealist drawing, the result of this curatorial game was brought to light once all of the artworks had been selected. Out of Order refers to the new ordering that became visible during “the great reveal.” In addition to the literal reconfiguration, the title also reflects ideas of disjointedness, fracture, and impropriety that appear in the artworks. Included were Bay Area emerging artists among others more established, like Sun Ra, showing in a variety of mediums. Conversations, both thematic and formal, arose among the thirteen discretely-selected works. Splintered landscapes, unearthly vistas, unconventional humor, obsessive craft, and creative collaboration converge in PLAySPACE Gallery. The feature was collaboratively written by Katie Morgan and Arden Sherman.