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The SFAI MFA Graduate Exhibition catalog will be an object of curiosity for many denizens of the Bay Area art subculture not only for the work documented therein but for the essay by curator Chris Gilbert, who abruptly left the Berkeley Art Museum this month after a brief tenure as Matrix Curator. Gilbert, who devoted the resources of the Matrix program to a cycle of projects in solidarity with the Bolivarian revolution in today’s Venezuela, asserts that “the apparent plenitude of the artworld is in fact a double-order emptiness” and argues for the role of theory in making space for revolutionary subjectivity. While the essay covers nothing so practical as how these ideas shaped his exhibition program, under the circumstances it raises interesting questions about the boundaries of curatorial provocation.

- Meredith Tromble [Thursday, May 18th, 2006]

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