CCA’s Wattis Institute is not just an exhibition space, but a research institute; at the start of every school year, the Wattis gathers a small group of faculty, art historians and artists for a year-long close study of one artist at a time. Beginning in September 2018, the Wattis trained its focus on Dodie Bellamy, writer, poet and well-known figure in San Francisco’s avant-garde literary scene, proclaiming (as they do each year) “Dodie Bellamy is on our mind.”
Many talks, performances, readings and film screenings later, this season of attention comes to a close on Wednesday, Aug. 14 with a group of local artists and writers reading from their contributions to Mirage. The publication was originally founded by Bellamy’s husband Kevin Killian in 1985, several times put to bed and reborn twice in new formats—most recently as a monthly issue photocopied in the Wattis offices.
Edited by Bellamy and Killian, each issue of Mirage #5/Period[ical], like its forebears, features new work by unknown and well-known writers, published side by side, as well as covers by “prestigious internationally recognized visual artists, surreptitiously obtained under the guise of signing Killian’s autograph book.” (The first issue of this most recent incarnation of Mirage features a drawing by Seth Price.)
The event includes readings by Jeremy Benson, Brendan Cook, Sofía Córdova, Ryanaustin Dennis, Lourdes Figueroa, Ivy Johnson and Jacob Kahn, with an introduction by Eric Sneathen. The night is dedicated to Killian, who passed away in June.