Artist Elizabeth Briel visited Oddball Films last Monday to document the infamous 17 Reasons sign for an upcoming project. Learn more about the history of the 17 Reasons sign here. Our beloved founder, Stephen Parr, went through great lengths to salvage the sign when he saw it was being torn down from the roof of the old Thift Town building (since displaced after losing their lease) back in 2002.
Elizabeth's "Untitled Project" is a series of paintings-in-progress that display an imagined life lived here in the Bay Area among iconic and culturally important artifacts and locations. Elizabeth tells stories in words and images of this life, fictional accounts of adventures in the Bay Area that tell a larger truth.
Her project begins in Afghanistan and ends back in the city of her birth, San Francisco. Briel makes her own paints with semiprecious lapis lazuli from Afghan mines and paints on paper made from US military uniforms. Both the paper and pigments have been processed in the Bay Area.
The images and accompanying texts explore the lives possible if Briel had continued to live in San Francisco. Briel says "I work through conflicts and ambivalence toward the country [USA] I left many years ago, transforming art materials of war into familiar images of home."
In Summer 2020, Briel will return to exhibit the series, venue TBD. She promises to come back and see us at Oddball Films.
Photo by Pearl Martin-Eagle.