Friday, September 30, 2016, 7:00 pm

Lynn Marie Kirby and Christoph Steger’s The Alhambra Project

Presented in association with San Francisco Cinematheque


2330 Polk Street

San Francisco, CA 94109

Free admission.

The Alhambra Project focuses on the former Alhambra Theatre, located on Polk Street in San Francisco's Russian Hill neighborhood. Now a Crunch Gym, this theatre interprets the architecture and patterning of the Alhambra in Spain through a very Western lens. In its current incarnation as a gym, the site also brings into sharp relief the demographic changes in the Russian Hill neighborhood while also referencing its diverse histories.

For over a year, Bay Area filmmaker/artists Lynn Marie Kirby and Christoph Steger have been working to develop a layered history of cultural patterning and visions of exoticism through this extraordinary site, researching the complex mathematical patterns of the Alhambra, interviewing members of the local Russian Hill/Polk Gulch community and incorporating their personal histories into their project. In this one-night-only event, the artists will present site-specific films, videos and performances within and around the Crunch Gym. The moving image installation includes animations of traditional Islamic geometric designs, a tour of the original Alhambra, video of neighborhood pets and a text collaboration with the Lebanese American poet Etel Adnan. Meanwhile a performative exercise class, open to the public, will re-enact gestures from the Hollywood films that screened at the Theatre 1926–1996. Finally, there will be a walking tour of the neighborhood through a new mobile app that incorporates key historic and present-day sites and many local businesses.

Kirby and Steger have also created an online artwork about this project at http://thealhambraproject.com/.

The project is funded in part by a grant from the San Francisco Arts Commission and a Faculty Development Grant from the California College of the Arts.

Image above from http://thealhambraproject.com/.