Shannon Ebner

Artist lecture Wednesday, October 25, 2017 7PM
Timken Lecture Hall, California College of the Arts, 1111 Eighth Street, San Francisco CA, 94107
Hammer Projects: Shannon Ebner. Installation view at the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles. July 15 - October 9, 2011. Photograph by Brian Forrest.


The work of Los Angeles-based artist Shannon Ebner, focuses on the intersections of image and text, investigating correlations between photography and language. Ebner considers various uses of language—including poetry, symbols, signage and political rhetoric—examining the limits and ambiguities of language and representation through the lens of photography. In addition to photographs, Ebner’s works take the form of sculpture, poetry, performance, and video. Using the written word as a foundation for photographs, she constructs images by building letters and phrases out of vernacular materials such as cardboard, wood, and cinder blocks, calling attention to the ways language and imagery are put together. Her alphabets explore language’s “other”—hovering presences like silence, nonverbal communication, misspellings, handwriting—and emphasize what written language commonly represses or takes for granted in order to function.

In projects like Auto Body Collision (2015), Ebner photographs language in found signage, looking for patterns, connections, and breaks in the repetition of specific words, like “auto,” “body,” and “collision.” Another project—Black Box Collision A (2014)—is an extensive meditation on and representation of the letter “A” mined from signs, advertisements, messages, and other modes of visual communication. Repetition across large-scale photographs of the letter “A” accumulates to open rather than close the meaning of even the most seemingly basic component of meaning.

Ebner received her BA from Bard College and MFA from Yale University School of Art. Her work has been featured in solo exhibitions at the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; MoMA PS1, Long Island City; and Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami. Ebner’s work has been collected by institutions such as the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Museum of Modern Art, New York; and Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam. Her published artist books include The Sun as Error (2009), Strike (2015), Autobody Collision (2015), and A Public Character (2017). Currently, Ebner is the Associate Professor of the Practice of Fine Arts at the USC Roski School of Art and Design. She curated the group exhibition Soil Erosion at Altman Siegel in San Francisco, which is on view from September 7 to October 28, 2017.





Larry Sultan Visiting Artist Program

Pier 24 Photography is pleased to present the Larry Sultan Visiting Artist Program in collaboration with California College of the Arts and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Each year, the Larry Sultan Visiting Artist Program brings six photographers, writers, and curators to San Francisco to offer free and open lectures, and to work one-on-one with students at California College of the Arts.

Larry Sultan Photography Award

Jonathan Calm, Double Vision (Recording I), 2018

Jonathan Calm

Fall 2019 Residency
Headlands Center for the Arts, Sausalito, CA

Click HERE for more information on the Larry Sultan Photography Award

Jonathan Calm is a visual artist who works in photography, video, installation, and performance. A central theme of his work is the relationship between photography and urban architecture, and the powerful role of images in the way architectural constructs shape the lives of individuals and communities.

In his most recent work, Calm explores the complex representation of African-American automobility from a historical and contemporary perspective, focusing and drawing on the importance and resonance of the Negro Motorist Green Book. Of this project, he explains, “the image of the infinite highway and the unbridled freedom to roam the land has always been considered a quintessential expression of the modern American spirit, but the black American experience of travel, which involves heightened subjectivity and exposure, has to this day proven a precarious privilege rather than an inalienable right.”

Calm’s art practice is international in scope and has been featured in numerous solo and group exhibitions, including Frequency at the Studio Museum in Harlem (2005); Role Play at the Tate Britain (2006); Black Is, Black Ain’t at the University of Chicago’s Renaissance Society (2008); Streetwise at the Reina Sophia Museum in Madrid (2008) and the Chelsea Art Museum (2011); deCordova Biennial at the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum (2013); and Rooted Movements at LMAKprojects in New York City (2014). Calm currently lives in Palo Alto, CA where he is a faculty member in the Department of Art and Art History at Stanford University.