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MAR 11 2011

The San Pablo Arts District Fund (SPAD) is proud to present the art of Jesse Wiedel and filmmaking of Mirka Morales on Friday, March 11, at 5512 San Pablo Avenue, Oakland. Doors open at 6:45 p.m. and both installations will be on display during the evening’s reading series, Lip Service West, which begins at 7 p.m. Admission is free.

In his narrative streetscapes, Jesse Wiedel uses a variety of visual references to create a pastiche of fictionalized, street culture tableaus that are all at once sad, coarse, and degenerate, where people aimlessly wander and interact in a state of somnambulistic rebellion. The weary structures and street signs that backdrop these individuals mimic their isolation and subtle desperation, and sordid tales of public humiliation serve as an allegory for the ever-expanding malaise of the working class.

Mirka Morales’s Elfmädchen is an abstract portrait of a narcoleptic girl who sleeps and dreams too much. It’s set amongst the urban decay of Soma, San Francisco. One night a magical dream casts a hypnotic spell, and her dreams become weirder, more lucid, flowing in and out of reality, each dream study with its own feel, from tropical to wacky to ominous and to childlike. The short film features live action and stop-motion animation, and is shot in 16mm color film. It stars Rachel Birdsong, the Lady Nigel Butterfly and Ghis Glittoree. Running time is 16:30 minutes.

“We are excited to be a catalyst to further cultural and economic development in the revival of the Golden Gate District of North Oakland,” says SPAD Executive Director Idan Levin. “For this event, we have a truly wonderful cast of well-respected authors and contemporary visual artists. We are grateful for their enthusiasm and commitment."

A graduate of the San Francisco Art Institute, Jesse Wiedel resides in Eureka, California, where the local seedy buildings and colorful inhabitants feed his work. Capturing the underbelly of society in his art with humor, banality, and a dose of the unreal, Jesse juxtaposes burnt-out trailers and Greek mythological figures with patrons from the corner bar. An internationally exhibiting artist, Jesse has exhibited at Jack the Pelican Presents, Brooklyn; Robert Berman Gallery, Santa Monica; Art Queen, Joshua Tree; The Shooting Gallery, San Francisco; and at exhibitions in Italy and Argentina. His paintings have been reviewed in Beautiful Decay magazine, Papermag, Whitehot Magazine, and Artweek, among others.

Originally from Puerto Rico, Mirka Morales is a San Francisco-based experimental filmmaker, animator and artist. Her films explore reality and fantasy from a feminine, intimate, seductive, DIY, underground perspective, using beauty, horror and humor.
Her film Elfmädchen received a Film Arts Foundation grant and premiered at the 2009 Chicago Underground Film Festival, where it won Best Animation Award. It also screened at MOCAD Detroit, Antimatter, Boston Underground Film Festival, SF Frozen Film Festival, the Oakland Underground Film Festival, Black Rock International Film Festival, and SF’s Artists’ Television Access, among others. Her previous films Goiter Girl and Eat Me were part of the 2000 Seattle Underground Film Festival and Spike & Mike’s Sick & Twisted Animation Festival. Mirka received her MFA in experimental animation from the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts).

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