January 25, 2019 – April 28, 2019
Led by the artist duo Bik Van der Pol, Take Part anchored expansive conversations about San Francisco’s past, present, and future to a physical object: a thousand-square-foot scale model of the city in 1938 built by the Works Progress Administration (WPA). Beginning January 25, the model was exhibited publicly for the first time since 1942, displayed piece-by-piece throughout the San Francisco Public Library’s twenty-nine branches (including the SFMOMA Public Knowledge Library). Each branch displayed its respective neighborhood.
With more than a hundred free programs and events offered in libraries across the city, Take Part invited everyone near and far to gather around the model and bring different perspective and experiences to discussions about San Francisco in all of its complexities. Activities included site-specific storytelling, town hall discussions, history nights, virtual tours, neighborhood walks, bike rides, map-making, and more. Visit the Blog to explore the library branch pages, which include historical photos, scale model installation photos, customized neighborhood mix-tapes, and much more. Check out our Map page for a digital composite map of the entire scale model, and explore the #takepartSF tag on Instagram to see how communities made the model their own.
Bik Van der Pol is the collective name of the Dutch, Rotterdam based artists Liesbeth Bik and Jos Van der Pol, whose vision guides Take Part. Working globally in a variety of forms including performance, publications, videos and public projects, the artists explore how “publics” are formed and come together. Several of their projects deal with archives and collections, while others are about particular places and local histories. Their work typically involves facilitating dialogue among residents or participants, identifying histories or relationships that explore how ‘the public’ takes shape in a given context, and creating a form in which this is made visible and experienced. Through Take Part, Bik Van der Pol aim to articulate how art can produce a public sphere and create space for speculation and imagination in and about San Francisco. The work here explores questions about public rights to space, changing communities, and how we make decisions as a city.