June 15–August 8, 2021
Opening reception: Sunday, June 27, 1–3pm
Premiere Jr. is totally psyched to announce the Inner Sunset’s hottest summer billboard, created by artist Emma Spertus. Two Face is an image of two white mugs bearing the words “digital” and “assets” against a solid red background. To Spertus, the phrase “digital assets” is a poetic conundrum. It joins a digital substance that can circulate infinitely, and is fluid and transferable, with an asset that is solid, defined and valuable. In Two Face, the two mugs playfully articulate this double life of words and technologically forged meaning. Meanings abound: mug is another word for face; a two-faced person is insincere and deceitful.
The billboard also calls to mind print-on-demand services that allow customers to upload their digital assets to a website and create tangible forms for consumption. Two Face is an advertisement, it seems, but the object or service it’s selling is unclear—an experience many in the Bay Area will recognize from the incomprehensible tech billboards lining our freeways. Borrowing from the language of stock images, Spertus’ design invites viewers to consider how images live, circulate and accrue value.
Emma Spertus lives in Berkeley, works in Richmond, and has a studio in Oakland. Her sculptures and architectural interventions are inspired by her varied encounters in the Bay Area. She is interested in highlighting the humor and visual intrigue of banal subjects, from business parks to technology lingo. She has exhibited at venues large and small, including the Oakland Museum of California, CCA’s Wattis Institute, White Columns, The Lab, Romer Young Gallery, Important Projects, Stairwell's and Dorsky Gallery. In 2011, she co-founded Real Time & Space, an affordable art studio and residency program in Oakland.