New Art Space Cloaca Projects Fills a Small Room with Big Ideas

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Sonja Gerdes, 'Pie of Trouble. Let’s hang. Air for free. Hyperamorph.' (Courtesy of the artist and CLOACA PROJECTS)

One of San Francisco’s newest visual art spaces is also one of the trickiest to say out loud with confidence. (Runners-up in this category include KADIST and Bass & Reiner.)

CLOACA PROJECTS, the voice on the internet dictionary tells me, is pronounced cloh-AY-kuh. Politely put, it’s named after the orifice that serves certain animals as an “all-purpose hole” for their digestive, reproductive and urinary tracts.

Cool, right? It’s not often you get a biology lesson with your art viewing. Pronunciation and etymology confirmed, you can now stride purposefully through the Bayview warehouse of Hunt Projects (a studio and fabrication space) and into the back patio space that houses CLOACA PROJECTS, fittingly described as facilitating the “reproduction and evacuation of art.”

This Saturday, Feb. 3, Los Angeles and Berlin-based artist Sonja Gerdes opens an exhibition at CLOACA elaborately titled Pie of Trouble. Stays Trouble. Let’s Hang. Breathe. Oxygenenergizer. Becoming With. Breath Amorph Genderless. Animal Creature Plant Breath Soul. Air For Free. Do spiders breathe? The Multiple Amorphous Us. Crown Chakra - Sahasrara Rising. Nova.

The show draws from Gerdes' ongoing body of work called Oxygenenergizer (OE), a conceptual science fiction project about the accessibility of air. Within OE, Gerdes imagines a future in which machines create energy from oxygen. The project manifests as “sculpture, performances, writings, spirit channeling and social activation.”


Past examples of Gerdes' work hint at ultramarine blue frameworks draped in black ropey masses, the artist appearing periodically to activate all of the above. To find out just what form Pie of Trouble takes in this latest iteration, you’ll have to show up.

'Pie of Trouble...' is on view at CLOACA PROJECTS in San Francisco (1460 Davidson Ave) Feb. 3–April 7, 2018 on Saturdays, 12–5pm. For more information, click here.