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Futurefarmers: Out of Place, in Place
Founded in 1995 in San Francisco, the internationally renowned Futurefarmers group takes a collective, playful, inquiry-based approach to art making that spans multiple disciplines and ways of inhabiting the world, from sailing and farming to environmental design and DIY scientific experimentation. Their imaginative, environmentally conscious projects provoke audiences to question the many ways that humans try to control nature, or imagine themselves as separate from it. Their work can be described as social sculpture, a type of making that activates art’s potential to change society. Futurefarmers: Out of Place, in Place surveys their practice to date, and includes what they call a new “speculative fog-harvesting machine,” a live project to be constructed and activated over the course of the exhibition. This exhibition is part of YBCA’s ongoing Changing the Ratio initiative. Through 2019, more than 70 percent of YBCA’s planned exhibitions are solo shows featuring the work of female artists.

Patty Hearst
dir. Paul Schrader
This paranoid satire of radical chic and the aftermath of the 60s stars Natasha Richardson as the notorious Hearst Corp. heiress. Kidnapped by the extreme left-wing Symbionese Liberation Army, Hearst’s path from UC-Berkeley rich kid to armed revolutionary electrified the nation. Not popular upon its original release, the film has become strangely relevant to the present day. Don’t miss this rare screening of a stylish, unjustly neglected work from the screenwriter of Taxi Driver and Raging Bull. (1988, 108 min, 35mm).

Preceded by vintage reports on the “Zebra murders,” racially-motivated killings which terrified SF from late 1973 to early 1974.

Double-feature — The Zodiac Killer / The Sacrament
This double-feature showcases a wild low-budget movie made to capture the Zodiac Killer and a slow-burn reimagining of the Jonestown tragedy.

The Zodiac Killer

dir. Tom Hanson
To contrast with David Fincher’s 2007 masterpiece Zodiac (screening May 27), we present this fast-paced, extremely cheap, and entertaining version of the same story from 1971. The producer-director of this exploitation film was a Northern California pizza restaurateur who set elaborate traps in the lobbies of the theaters where it played hoping to capture the Zodiac Killer. (1971, 87 min, digital)

Preceded by vintage 35mm trailers for Guyana: Cult of the Damned (1979) and Slaughter in San Francisco (1974).

The Sacrament

dir. Ti West
The 1978 massacre of more than nine hundred members of San Francisco’s Peoples Temple shocked the world. Inspired and haunted by this incident, director Ti West tells the story of two Vice journalists who set out to document their friend’s journey to reunite with his estranged sister. They track her to a remote location, where they are welcomed into the world of Eden Parish, a rural utopia overseen by a mysterious leader known only as “Father.” But this paradise may not be what it seems… (2013, 99 min, digital)

Preceded by Peoples Temple home movies.

dir. David Fincher
Director David Fincher (Se7en, The Social Network) conducted his own eighteen-month investigation of the Zodiac killer’s reign of terror before making this vivid and absorbing dramatization. A fine cast (including Jake Gyllenhaal, Robert Downey Jr., and Mark Ruffalo) helped Fincher meticulously recreate San Francisco during this period, resulting in one of this century’s greatest Hollywood movies. (2007, 162 min, 35mm)

Public Square
You’re invited to our annual pop-up, PUBLIC SQUARE! YBCA Fellows will unveil their yearlong projects through workshops, visual and performance art, dance, music, and more. Made up of the most daring artists, thinkers, and creative citizens from across the Bay Area, each Fellows cohort has been studying a provocative question and exploring ways to spark community engagement and action around these crucial questions:
  • How do we find and empower TRUTH?
  • Where is our PUBLIC IMAGINATION?
  • Can we make CREATIVE DISSENT matter?
Join us for a surprising afternoon of choose-your-own-adventure, queer ritual, a meeting with the first female president, snacks, and drinks as we bring together with art and community.

San Francisco Boys Chorus — 70th Anniversary Concert featuring Leah Crocetto
Join the San Francisco Boys Chorus with Artistic Director Ian Robertson and celebrated opera superstar Leah Crocetto to celebrate the 70th anniversary of this internationally recognized performing arts and Grammy-award winning ensemble in a special performance at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theater in downtown San Francisco. With YBCA Theater’s state of the art lighting and sound, the concert will be an exciting and unforgettable evening featuring young singers from all our choral groups. Enjoy traditional and world songs performed by our “choirs of angels” to mark this exciting milestone in SFBC history. Recent press has described SFBC’s singing as having “memorable clarity” with “secure flexibility and eloquent lyricism.” The San Francisco Chronicle has referred to the group as “exemplary.”

Guest artist, American soprano Leah Crocetto has been described by the New York Times as possessing an “agile coloratura technique and a feeling for the Italianate style… with warmth, full penetrating sound and tenderness.” Ms. Crocetto continues to astonish audiences with her moving portrayals of opera’s greatest heroines.

The theater, designed by James Polshek and Todd Schliemann, houses YBCA’s world-class stage as well as production offices. Buy your tickets early for this not-to-be missed choral event in the Bay Area music calendar. Meet and mingle with the artists at an informal reception right after the performance.

The mission of the San Francisco Boys Chorus is to provide music education, vocal training, and performance experience at the highest artistic level to boys from all cultural, ethnic, and economic backgrounds.

Glenn Murcutt: Spirit of Place / The Neue Nationalgalerie
Dir. Catherine Hunter & Ina Weisse
Explore the construction of two ambitious architectural projects: Glenn Murcutt's contemporary take on a mosque, and Mies van der Rohe's epoch-defining Neue Nationalgalerie. We begin the program with Catherine Hunter’s Glenn Murcutt: Spirit of Place, a film about Australia’s internationally recognized architect as he embarks on his most ambitious project yet at eighty years of age. The narrative focuses on a mosque Murcutt designed for the local Muslim community, a radical creation that honors Islamic traditions with a distinctively contemporary building. (2017, 57 min, digital)

Berlin’s Neue Nationalgalerie is an epoch-defining structure designed by Mies van der Rohe. Nearly fifty years later its opening in 1968, Ina Weisse set out to examine the period during which this unique edifice was constructed. The documentary explores how the Neue Nationalgalerie came into existence, and what sort of worldview it expresses. (2017, 52 min, digital)

Brasília: Life After Design
dir. Bart Simpson
A thousand miles from the Amazon and eighteen hours from Rio de Janeiro, the city of Brasília, the capital of Brazil, is a concrete utopia born out of the desert. In 1956, at the rebirth of Brazilian democracy, visionary architect Oscar Niemeyer and urbanist Lúcio Costa invented an urban plan and structures that would attempt to micromanage the daily activities of human life. The unabashed goal was to create a space that would give birth to “the new Brazilian citizen.” Now the city’s stark beauty acts as a backdrop to isolation, changing values, and the dynamic power and politics of today’s Brazil. This unique film asks: What is it like to live in someone else’s idea? (2017, 88 min, digital)

Didi Contractor: Marrying the Earth to the Building
Dir. Steffi Giaracuni
For the past two decades, Didi Contractor has been passionately implementing her architectural visions in northwest India’s Kangra Valley, in the foothills of the Himalayas, combining rural traditions with modern requirements. This poetic documentary introduces us to her creations: houses built from clay, bamboo, slate, and river stone, constructed in tribute to their natural surroundings. (2017, 81 min, digital)

Preceded by the short Francis Kéré: An Architect Between. (2016, 19 min, digital)

Kevin Roche: The Quiet Architect
Dir. Mark Noonan
Still working at age ninety-five, Pritzker Prize–winning Irish American architect Kevin Roche is an enigma. He’s reached the pinnacle of his profession, but has little interest in celebrity. Despite a lifetime of acclaimed work that includes the Oakland Museum of California, United Nations Plaza, the Ford Foundation headquarters, and forty years of designing new galleries for the Metropolitan Museum of Art, he has no intention of ever retiring and keeps looking forward. Roche’s architectural philosophy focuses on creating “a community for a modern society,” and he was creating green buildings well before they entered public discussion. The film transcends the world of architecture to present a life philosophy we can all aspire to. (2017, 82 min, digital)

Dir. Reiner Holzemer
For the first time, fashion designer Dries Van Noten allows a filmmaker to accompany him in his creative process and rich home life. For an entire year, Reiner Holzemer documented the precise steps that Dries took to conceive four collections, and the rich fabrics, embroidery, and prints exclusive to his designs. This film offers an insight into the life and creative heart of a master designer who, for more than twenty-five years, has remained independent in a landscape of fashion consolidation and globalization. (2017, 90 min, digital)

Preceded by the short: Visions Not Previously Seen: The Groundbreaking Design Work of Barbara Stauffacher Solomon, a portrait of the innovative San Francisco–based designer, directed by Christian Bruno, Kurt Keppeler, and Natalija Vekic. (2018, 15 min, digital)

Tall: The American Skyscraper And Louis Sullivan
dir. Manfred Kirchheimer
This idiosyncratic gem tells the story of the unstoppable rise of the skyscrapers. Starting in 1869 in New York and Chicago, elevators, steel, and electricity came together in a frenzy of tall and taller buildings. Tall traces the experiments of the early skyscraper architects, especially Chicago’s Louis Sullivan (mentor of Frank Lloyd Wright), who pioneered a new skyscraper form, and the fierce rivals led by Daniel Burnham who competed with him for favor, money, and power. Tall pits the struggle for artistic integrity against the demands of fashion and the client’s bottom line, and documents the epic showdown between Sullivan and Burnham. The outcome changed the future, shaping the modern skyline throughout the world. (2006, 82 min, digital)

LUTAH – A Passion for Architecture: A Life in Design
Dir. Kum-Kum Bhavnani
An intimate insight into the innovative mind of a genius and her struggles to maintain integrity while making the world a better place to live in. Lutah Maria Riggs navigated her way through the male-centric world of architecture and brought a fresh take to the established architectural styles of Southern California. From Spanish colonial revival to art deco, to modernism and back to traditionalism, Riggs mastered the art of experimentation. Her attention to detail, use of new materials, environmental concerns, and love of the natural landscape brought a unique and specific quality to her work. In addition to her buildings, Lutah also left a legacy as a self-made woman who boldly overcame barrier after barrier. (2014, 68 min, digital)

Dream Empire
Dir. David Borenstein
Yana is a twenty-four-year-old rural migrant recently arrived in Chongqing to pursue her dreams. Drawn by the glamour and easy riches of China’s real estate boom, she opens a “foreigner rental agency” designed to help Chinese real estate developers market their new developments. But the business takes a dubious turn as her clients are increasingly used in a surreal effort to turn remote rural ghost towns into “globalized booming cities” on days when outside investors and political leaders visit. This incisive new film dissects the reckless, mind-boggling globalized real estate market. (2016, 73 min, digital)

Big Time
Dir. Kaspar Astrup Schröder
An intimate insight into a genius’s innovative mind and struggles to maintain his integrity while making the world a better place to live in. We follow acclaimed Danish architect Bjarke Ingels over a period of five years while he struggles to complete his largest projects yet, the New York skyscraper called W57 and 2 World Trade Center—buildings that will change the skyline of Manhattan. (2017, 93 min, digital)

The Fountainhead
Dir. King Vidor
Presented in a restored 35mm film print, this is the film adaptation of Ayn Rand’s epic novel about an uncompromising, Frank Lloyd Wright–esque modernist architect. A cult favorite of the right wing, The Fountainhead articulates Rand’s philosophy of Objectivism, a neo-Nietzschean vision of free enterprise. Starring Gary Cooper and Patricia Neal, the film version is a campy potboiler, especially notable for Edward Carrere’s geometric and progressive set designs mixing Scandinavian and International motifs. (1949, 114 min, 35mm) Print courtesy of and preserved by the Library of Congress.

Dir. Kogonada
Don’t miss what might be your last chance to see Columbus on the big screen! John Cho plays the son of a famous architect who finds himself stranded in Columbus, Indiana—a small city celebrated for its many significant modernist buildings. He strikes up a friendship with a young architecture enthusiast who works at the local library. An intimacy develops as they explore both the town and their conflicted family histories. With its naturalistic rhythms and empathy for the complexities of families, Columbus is also a showcase for its director’s deep understanding of how physical space can affect emotions. (2017, 104 min, digital)

Hanzi / Konstantin Grcic: Design is Work
From modern Chinese typography to German-engineered furniture, this two-part program examines design and visual culture from vastly different angles.

This two-part program begins with Hanzi by Tsai Mu-Ming. From the producers of Design & Thinking and Maker, Hanzi explores international design, visual culture, and identity through the lens of modern Chinese typography. This labor-of-love project is not just about Chinese characters, but strives to apply its ideas and messages to all languages and cultures. Exploring universal questions—How does language shape identity? What role does handwriting play in the digital age?—Hanzi encourages us to revisit and rethink our own cultures, languages, and identities. (2016, 57 min, digital).

Next is Gereon Wetzel’s Konstantin Grcic: Design Is Work, a portrait of one of the world’s most innovative product designers. The film accompanies Grcic for an entire year. With the aid of design models, we observe the complete developmental process behind one of his most prominent pieces, Chair_One, from initial sketches to finished product, among other current projects. Design, indeed, is work, but also so much more. (2017, 54 min, digital)

Larger Than Life: The Kevyn Aucoin Story
Dir. Tiffany Bartok
Legendary makeup artist Kevyn Aucoin was the victim of constant bullying in his hometown of Lafayette, Louisiana, but found instant and explosive acceptance in the New York fashion world. Thanks to his groundbreaking contouring techniques and mission to make everyone feel beautiful, he shot to fame quickly, doing makeup for almost every supermodel and celebrity throughout the 1980s and 1990s. Then, at the height of his fame, he died mysteriously in 2002. Larger Than Life explores every corner of Kevyn’s life through the story of his untimely passing and the inspiring legacy he left behind. (2017, 102 min, digital)

Five Seasons: The Gardens of Piet Oudolf
Dir. Thomas Piper
Five Seasons upends conventional notions of nature, public space, and, ultimately, beauty itself. This deeply immersive and meditative documentary on the revolutionary landscape designer Piet Oudolf takes us inside his creative process, from his beautifully abstract sketches, to his theories on beauty, to the ecological implications of his ideas. (2017, 76 min, digital)

A Talk with Florian Idenburg and Neeraj Bhatia
Join us for this special program as part of our second floor gallery exhibition, The Open Workshop: New Investigations In Collective Form. Neeraj Bhatia of The Open Workshop and Florian Idenburg of the firm SO-IL will present on Umberto Eco’s The Open Work, an influential text for both firms.

* Ticket price includes gallery admission.

Harmony Chinese Musical Center (Hang Yuen) — Chinese Opera Fundraiser for Gum Moon Women's Residence
A Chinese Cantonese Opera show consisting of eight operettas, each about 30 minutes, with live music from famous musicians.

Richard Howell / dawsondancesf — MANGAKU
With their fifth collaboration, Howell and Dawson continue their journey of bridging jazz and contemporary ballet. Borrowing from the title of Howell’s just-released jazz album, Coming of Age—MANGAKU, this program features the world premiere of MANGAKU, an ensemble work for nine dancers with live musical accompaniment from Howell and guest artists. Rounding out the program is Floating in Mid Air, another Dawson-Howell collaboration, a work which received its premiere at San Francisco’s Bayview Opera House earlier this year.

Dawson works in the contemporary ballet idiom, characterized by balletic grammar mixed with lissome spines, thrusting rib cages and swerving limbs. Dawson has a snappy vibe, and his confident choreography is at its best when showing off the speedy athleticism and muscularity of his dancers.

—Mary Ellen Hunt

Referring to Richard Howell: I have the deepest respect for his musical abilities. He walks in the same path as the great ones: Joe Henderson, Don Myrick to be mentioned in the same light. I have great belief in his talents. He will continue to make contributions in the time to come.

—Maurice White
Founder of Earth, Wind & Fire