STYLE WARS: Three conversations on the power of style

“American Gothic”

April 7, 2015
Doors: 6 pm
Talk: 7–8 pm

American Gothic: Something wicked this way comes! This conversation offers the chance to think about the myriad ways that the ‘gothic’ label has been historically mobilized for marking and managing the appearance of the defiantly different or irrational, and how this history has come to influence a wide array of contemporary artists, musicians and designers.

Allan deSouza, Harriett Jernigan, Joshua Grannell (aka “Peaches Christ”), and Lydia Brawner with moderator Nicole Archer.

Performance by: April Marie Dean


Three conversations on the power or style. Organzied by Nicole Archer, Assistant Professor of the History and Theory of Contemporary Art at SFAI

Yves Saint-Laurent once famously quipped that “fashion fades, style is eternal.” This enigmatic statement does much to elucidate the powerful place style holds in many contemporary cultures. In particular, it alerts us to the relationship that exists between notions of style and notions of history. Or, to the idea that “to have style” is to have the means of inserting oneself into history, while “to lack style” is to risk oblivion. Bearing Saint-Laurent’s words in mind, this series of critical conversations suggests that tracing style’s fluctuating features and movements across varied social, political, aesthetic, and philosophical terrains is serious work — and that this is particularly true within the realms of fine art, design, art history, and visual studies, as many important figures within these fields have come to both claim and contest the ownership of this term in dynamic ways.

A host of local writers, performers, theorists, and historians will come together on these three nights at the SFAQ Project space to present their thoughts on three very different styles, before entering into a critical, roundtable conversation amongst themselves and the audience. 


449 O’Farrell St.
San Francisco, CA 94102
Friday–Saturday, 11–5:30pm