Curatorial Projects > Here Be Dragons: Mapping Information and Imagination (2011-12)

Matthew Picton
San Francisco 1906: Burnt, 2010
Burnt covers of the film San Francisco (1936)
Courtesy of Toomey Tourell Fine Art, San Francisco, and Mary & Colin Lang

San Francisco 1906: Burnt is a sculpture of downtown San Francisco based on a map from the infamous year.  Market Street is typically represented on maps of San Francisco as a diagonal going from the bottom left to the upper right; here, Picton shifts the orientation of downtown San Francisco 90° clockwise. The piece is created from DVD covers of the film San Francisco, a 1936 musical-drama directed by Woody Van Dyke and starring Clark Gable, Jeanette McDonald, and Spencer Tracy. The film, the top grossing movie of 1936, is a fictional reconstruction of the great 1906 fire and earthquake and simultaneously looks back in time and alludes to the persistent fear for the future of this city.  The sculpture has been burnt.

Here Be Dragons: Mapping Information and Imagination

October 21, 2011 – January 14, 2012
Intersection for the Arts
San Francisco, CA

Photo credit: Scott Chernis