5174 Task Street

Maria Porges, host and curator
Ann B. Murphy, artist

Terrain Biennial:
Hostile/ hospitable

This installation will consist of a series of yard signs, the content of which will refer to conversations between Oakland artists Maria Porges and Ann B. Murphy. For each of the 6 weeks of the exhibition, a sign will be posted in Ms. Porges’ front yard.  In some weeks, a second sign may be placed in a nearby window.

The Great Recession kicked off a wave of economic and social negativity that still reverberates through the lives of many Oakland residents, including its large creative population. The text on the signs will allude to topics such as the relationship between an alarming increase in crime in the city’s residential neighborhoods and spiraling rents/ real estate, reflecting on how these escalating social costs affect artists.  Murphy and Porges will consider the role of neighborhood listserves in sharing information about upcoming events and lost pets as well as about criminal activity, potentially building not only community but also divisiveness and paranoia.  As Porges notes, the word hostile is hidden inside the word hospitable.

The messages on the signs will be distilled from exchanges between the artists.  For example, one might read: “Thirsty?”– a reminder of the California drought, and how it could either bring neighbors together or pit them against each other.

Ann B. Murphy is a multi-disciplinary artist whose work is inspired by specific locations of the figure, in the landscape and in particular contacts with the public. Murphy was born and raised in the western suburbs of Chicago. She attended the University of Kansas where she earned a BA in French and went on to earn an MFA from the School of Visual Arts in New York City. 

Her work has been exhibited at the Museo Reina Sofia in Madrid, at the Museo Rufino Tamayo in Mexico City and regularly throughout the United States and beyond. Her video work and her writing have been featured in The New York Times. Currently, Murphy is participating in the CAMAC Artist Residency in Marnay-sur-Seine, France.

She lives and works in Oakland, California. Her website is www.annbmurphy.com.