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SFAI Francis Cape: Utopian Benches » Opening Reception

San Francisco Art Institute

Thursday, January 30, 2014 from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM (PST)

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SFAI Francis Cape: Utopian Benches » Opening Reception Ended Free  

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Event Details

Francis Cape’s Utopian Benches is an installation of 17 poplar benches arranged in rows that together fill the gallery. Each bench was precisely replicated from existing benches crafted by American communal societies. Their form and design closely reflect their use within the specific community, and by extension their organizational structure and collective values. Of this work, Cape has asserted, “material culture reflects social structure.” The benches are shown alongside Cape’s suite of drawings that serve both as archival renderings and construction documents.

Utopian Benches recognizes these reductive, proto-modern seats as cultural equalizers and essential components in the creation of nonhierarchical spaces for conversation and communion, be it religious, political, or otherwise. Their arrangement creates an egalitarian field that levels proscenium divisions; here there is no stage or audience—we sit together.


The exhibition is accompanied by We Sit Together: Utopian Benches from the Shakers to the Seperatists of Zoar, published by Princeton Architectural Press.

Utopian Benches is loaned from the collection of Nion T. McEvoy.

Have questions about SFAI Francis Cape: Utopian Benches » Opening Reception? Contact San Francisco Art Institute

When & Where

San Francisco Art Institute
800 Chestnut St
San Francisco, CA 94133

Thursday, January 30, 2014 from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM (PST)

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San Francisco Art Institute

Founded in 1871, San Francisco Art Institute is one of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious schools of higher education in contemporary art.

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