SiteWorks: San Francisco performance 1969-85

Corner of Pine and Kearny Streets

Leland Fletcher, Kearny St Project: Department of Art works (11.30am-continuing, 8th November 1977)

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The Department of Art Works constructs art on the streets in the same manner as other construction companies, though for different purposes. Leland Fletcher, responsible for a show consisting of many construction sites around San Francisco, feels the difference is the “art” part – the definition of a work as art or simply another construction. His sculptural pieces at various places such as Powell St. Station, Zellerbach Plaza, etc., resemble the more conventional construction areas – barriers, spray paint, patches of polyethene sheeting, “DEPT. OF ART WORKS” stenciled on the sidewalk – but with more surprising effects. 

As art, they are his means of solving the problem of integrating art and everyday life. 

The Department of Art Works serves to function as a means of confrontation by changing an area and defining that change in a unique and unusual manner. Fletcher’s choice of construction as his medium reflects the way society tends to relate to the earth – as a construction site, to be rearranged, built upon, and shaped to fit a view of the world and our place in it. (Anonymous 1976: 36; 72)

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