Game Recognize Game

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SOMArts Cultural Center presents Game Recognize Game, a deep inquiry into the power and potential of sports as a culture-building institution for social change curated by Dania Cabello. The first exhibition in the 2017–2018 season of the SOMArts Curatorial Residency, this group exhibition will build an immersive environment for creativity and play, inviting audience members to bring play inside the gallery walls.

Opening with a free public reception on Thursday, November 30, 6–9 pm, Game Recognize Game explores the historic precedents and contemporary context for athletes like Colin Kaepernick who are leveraging sports as a platform for social change. Interactive installations will invite gallery visitors to discover how play can transform public spaces and break down barriers that keep people separated. From the walls of a gallery to the border wall, visitors will be invited to imagine play as a physical language that creates space for greater freedom, movement and self-determination.

Game Recognize Game is an experiential and intergenerational exhibition that invites audiences to play and move in the name of freedom amidst and in spite of the current political moment — a moment that seeks to divide families, spread racism and vitriol, and promote sexist ideologies,” Cabello observes of her curatorial debut for Game Recognize Game.

The opening reception on November 30 will feature artist talks and youth participant reflections on the intention and process of creating Game Recognize Game. In addition, performers will activate a community cypher, inviting audience members to play in the space through dance and photography. Using the hashtag #possibilityofplay, the opening reception will initiate an ongoing social media campaign encouraging participants to activate public spaces beyond the walls of the gallery.

Public programs in conjunction with the exhibition include a participatory youth workshop on Saturday, December 10, 12–3 pm and the closing reception and performances on Saturday, January 6, 6–9 pm.

Arjuna Sayyed
Cece Carpio
Dania Cabello
Ed Ntiri
Yonas Tesfai
Miguel “Bounce” Perez
Yvan Iturriaga

Special thanks to Game Recognize Game partner organizations:
Oakland Castlemont Football Team
Soccer Without Borders
Senda Athletics


November 30, 2017–January 10, 2018
Gallery hours: Tuesday–Friday 12–7pm & Saturday 12–5pm

The exhibition is free to visit during gallery hours and during the opening reception. SOMArts Cultural Center is located at 934 Brannan St. (between 8th & 9th Streets), San Francisco, CA, 94103. SOMArts is wheelchair/ADA accessible.

Opening Reception
Thursday, November 30, 6–9pm
The opening night celebration features performances, artist talks and a community cypher.

Closing Reception & Performances
Saturday, January 6, 2018, 6–9pm
The inter-generational closing ceremony will invite all people to play in the name of freedom. It will be an open invitation to all to activate space, document joy, move, and dance together.

Image credit: Game Recognize Game, photo by Emily De La Torre.

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