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Andrea Zittel: A–Z Travel Trailer Unit (June 6 – October 14, 2007)
BAM/PFA's sculpture garden turns trailer camp this summer with an installation by Andrea Zittel.
Berkeley, CA, June 15, 2007 — This summer the University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAM/PFA) presents Andrea Zittel: A–Z Travel Trailer Unit, an installation in the museum's sculpture garden that brings to mind the all-American family vacation. Through her mock-company A–Z Administrative Services, artist Andrea Zittel creates projects that blur the distinction between the conceptual and the utilitarian. One these projects, A–Z Travel Trailer Unit Customized for Miriam and Gordon Zittel (1995) is a fully functional camping trailer, customized for the artist's parents, who used it to recreate their 1960 honeymoon drive up the California coast on Highway 1. The installation will be on view June 6 through October 14, 2007. The sculpture garden is accessible to the public free of charge, and open Monday through Wednesday and Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Thursday, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.; and Saturday and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Zittel created three A–Z Travel Trailer Units for an exhibition at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art in 1995. Each vehicle, assigned to a different pair of individuals, set out from San Diego in October of that year, then drove north for a week along separate routes to San Francisco. Evoking the look of a vintage family station wagon with its green paint and wood trim, the trailers were uniformly fabricated by a Southern California recreational vehicle company according to Zittel's specifications. Though manufactured in mass-production fashion, the trailers were conceived to be infinitely customizable, reflecting the personal needs and tastes of their inhabitants. Zittel's parents live year-round on a sailboat, accounting for the nautical touches — a porthole bathroom mirror, family photographs of a sailing trip — in BAM/PFA's version of the work.
Zittel's enterprise A–Z Administrative Services is headquartered on the artist's property in Joshua Tree, California. The pseudo-corporation serves as an "institute for investigative living," as she describes it, creating portable habitats, handmade uniforms, high-efficiency food systems, and other products that explore how human values systems relate to our environments of everyday living. Zittel's A–Z Travel Trailer Units — tiny enclosures used for exploring the vastness of the great outdoors, and at once mass-produced and customized — exemplify the artist's preoccupation with the "gray area between freedom (which can sometimes feel too open-ended and vast) and security (which may easily turn into confinement)."
Zittel generously donated A–Z Travel Trailer Unit to BAM/PFA in 2006. The museum's acquisitions committee noticed an immediate relationship between it and the work of artist collective Ant Farm, whose archives are a permanent part of BAM/PFA's collection. Similar to Zittel, Ant Farm explored freedom and confinement, mobility and immobility as embodied in motor vehicles, most famously with 1974's Cadillac Ranch, which featured a herd of automobiles impaled in the Texas prairie.
The UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAM/PFA) aims to inspire the imagination and ignite critical dialogue through contemporary and historical art and film, engaging audiences from the campus, Bay Area community, and beyond. BAM/PFA is one of the largest university art museums in the United States in both size and attendance, presenting fifteen art exhibitions and five hundred film programs each year. The museum's collection of more than 15,000 works includes exceptional examples of mid-twentieth-century painting, including important works by Hans Hofmann, Jackson Pollock, Eva Hesse, and Mark Rothko, as well as historical and contemporary Asian art, early American painting, Conceptual and contemporary international art, and California and Bay Area art. The PFA film and video collection now includes the largest group of Japanese films outside of Japan, as well as impressive holdings of Soviet silents, West Coast avant-garde cinema, seminal video art, rare animation, Central Asian productions, Eastern European cinema, and international classics.
The University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive is supported by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Additional support is provided by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Koret Foundation, the Bernard Osher Foundation, Packard Humanities Institute, the Henry Luce Foundation, the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, the Columbia Foundation, the Christensen Fund, the William H. Donner Foundation, San Francisco Foundation, Gap Inc., other private foundations and corporations, and our individual donors and members. Major endowment support has been provided by the Phyllis C. Wattis Foundation and by George Gund III.
Location: 2626 Bancroft Way, just below College Avenue near the UC Berkeley campus.
Gallery and Museum Store Hours:
Wednesday and Friday to Sunday, 11 to 5; Thursday, 11 to 7. Closed Monday and Tuesday.
General admission is $8; admission for seniors, disabled persons, non–UC Berkeley students, and young adults (13 – 17) is $5; admission for BAM/PFA members, UC Berkeley students, staff and faculty, and children under 12 is free; admission for group tours is $3 per person (to arrange a group tour, call  642-5188). Admission is free on the first Thursday of each month.
24-hour recorded message (510) 642-0808; fax (510) 642-4889; TDD (510) 642-8734.