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SiteWorks: San Francisco performance 1969-85

500 Capp Street at 20th

David Ireland, Installation at his house (19th July-2nd August 1980)

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Bearing an address rather than a title, David Ireland’s major project of the past five years is an endeavor of distinctly personal archeology and architectural preservation. In 1975 Ireland became the third owner of a two-story Victorian house at 500 Capp Street in the Mission District of San Francisco. His list of home repairs took on a different meanings as he began to see, within the piles of debris, layers of wall-paper and objects left behind by former occupants, the history 500 Capp Street had accumulated since it was built in 1886. Approaching his tasks with a shift of purpose and consciousness of their potential for esthetic meaning, Ireland proceeded to remodel the house by selectively excavating its content as an investigation of his relationship to the past. Now, five years later, the house and the objects found in it make an unexpectedly impressive environment that feels permeated with both history of Ireland’s activities there. Within the sparsely furnished rooms, Ireland’s personal possessions, many of which are captivating in themselves, are integrated with material he discovered during his excavations and then transformed to varying degrees. Some of the items consist of largely unrecognizable detritus.

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