Premiere Jr. (2020–2023) was an exhibition space that commissioned new work by Bay Area artists on a 6-by-12-foot billboard in San Francisco’s Inner Sunset.

Saif Azzuz
Salmon Says

August 25–October 24, 2021

Premiere Jr. is pleased to present Salmon Says by artist Saif Azuzz. Azzuz’s work incorporates personal gestural marks and an iconography derived from the traditions and native land of his Yurok and Libyan heritage. His work reflects the resilience of Indigenous cultures and the importance of a connection with the land, while simultaneously confronting the histories of racism, capitalism, colonialism and Manifest Destiny.

For his billboard above 624 Irving Street, Azzuz incorporates an image of a Chinook salmon forcefully delivering the message “Land Back.” This phrase refers to the movement to return land to Indigenous hands as a crucial step toward rectifying ongoing colonial policies and safeguarding the sustainability of our planet.

In our present moment, Land Back urgently encompasses the need to practice traditional fire stewardship; and to undam the rivers that provide sustenance for those who have lived along them for centuries. Land Back is a shift into a new future where the land and its stewards are the loudest voices. The only viable option in the face of climate change is one that centers the land and those who protect it.

More information and Land Back resources:
Land Reparations & Indigenous Solidarity Toolkit
What is Land Back? A Settler FAQ
Four case studies of Land Back in action
The Amah Mutsun Land Trust
Sogorea Te’ Land Trust
Real Rent Duwamish
‘The fire moved around it’: A success story of prescribed burns

Saif Azzuz is a Libyan-Yurok artist who resides in Pacifica, CA. He has exhibited widely in the Bay Area, including exhibitions with pt.2 gallery, Adobe Books, Ever Gold [Projects], NIAD and 1599dt Gallery. Azzuz is part of the Clarion Alley Mural Project and the Facebook Open Arts program. Azzuz will have solo exhibitions in 2021 and 2022 with Rule Gallery in Denver and Anthony Meier Fine Arts in San Francisco. Azzuz shares his home and studio in Pacifica on Ramaytush Ohlone land with his wife Lulu and their two children, who provide innumerable inspiration and support.