In 2000 Wilson co-organized the performance/protest series Art Strikes Back in response to the unprecedented and unrestricted level of gentrification and displacement in San Francisco during the "dotcom boom." In 2003 she curated and co-organized the international exchange and residency Sama-sama/Together, a collaboration between community arts organizations and artists from San Francisco (USA) and Yogyakarta (Indonesia) designed to foster understanding of Muslim and non-Muslim cultures following 9/11. From 2004 – 2008 she transformed her 1,600 sq. ft. living space into an installation that explored and challenged the meanings of “home” and “homelessness” through her project Home 1996-2008. Wilson has been a core organizer of the Clarion Alley Mural Project since 1998 and is one of the organizers of CAPITALISM IS OVER! If You Want It, an ongoing movement of interruptions/actions by artists from around the world in response to the need for a fundamental shift in our approach to Capitalism and the negative impact it has on the environment, health, and wellbeing of all. Wilson is also a writer and recently published The Gentrification of Our Livelihoods on Stretcher.org in June 2014. The article addresses how public-private partnerships between developers and the arts in San Francisco are affecting the gentrification of the city and our livelihoods.
My current work addresses the need for a fundamental shift from free-market Capitalism that puts profit before all else and negatively impacts the environment, health, and wellbeing of all (see my Points to Consider on the State of Free Market Capitalism 2014). We’re all active and/or passive participants in Capitalism. However, it’s not helpful to approach the existing system from a place of polarity - either you live completely off the grid or you’re a Capitalist. I’m interested in creative forms of engagement for provoking deeper considerations of these issues. Influences include philosopher and activist Dr. Cornel West, environmentalist Vandana Shiva, cultural critic and historian Thomas Frank, journalist and social activist Dorothy Day, economist, Raj Patel, social activist Naomi Klein, philosopher Slavoj Žižek, economist Richard D. Wolff, and economist Robert Reich.
Additionally, I’ve been a practitioner of Buddhism and Vipassana meditation since 2003. Both are closely tied to my art practice. I often create art that is conceptually rooted in elements of these practices and that is intentionally ephemeral or that I give away. Much of my work is no longer in existence because it was never meant to be permanent - forcing the viewer/consumer, as well as myself, to let go of any expectations of its monetary worth. This is not to say that I don’t appreciate or create work that’s collectible and/or consumer-based; I do create and appreciate such work. However, it is integral to my practice to challenge myself in ways that are always pushing me to evolve, including the creation of work that's impermanent or gifted.
Recent, Current & Upcoming Projects/Exhibitions & News: _________________________________________________________
Press Conference Hosted by the Coalition On Homelessness:
San Francisco Campers and Neighbors Speak Out
About Luis Gongora Murder and Continued Sweeps of Encampments
April 21, 2016
Where: Clarion Alley “Housing is a Human Right” mural- one third of the way down The Alley from the Valencia side.
Mural painted by Megan Wilson & Christopher Statton as part of the Clarion Alley Mural Project.
San Francisco, CA- A shooting by police officers of Luis Gongora, a Mayan Speaking man and father of three children from the Yucatan last Thursday, April 7th was met with a response from both Supervisor Wiener and Mayor Lee calling for homeless sweeps city wide. The Coalition on Homeless, with Supervisor John Avalos as our champion, is calling for a humane response to encampments that truly solves the issue. Earlier this year, a recent widely publicized removal of an encampment containing approximately 300 people along Division Street received broad media attention as the City only provided temporary lodging for about half the residents. The Coalition on Homelessness is concerned that the relocation efforts of homeless people from encampments on Division Street and more recently on Shotwell Street in the city have only further de-stabilized the homeless community, have simply pushed homeless people, in most cases, a very short distance away, and in the worst case scenario have resulted in police-involved murders of homeless individuals such as Luis Gongora last week.
“Homeless and street-based San Franciscans have been surviving these on-going sweeps for months, and in some cases years,” said Bilal Ali, Human Rights Organizer of the SF Coalition on Homelessness. “Instead of actually addressing the issue, the city is continuing this failed policy of displacement rather than listening to us every single time we state the logical solution to the growing crisis which is: HOUSING. Luis Gongora would not have been murdered had he been inside. Bottom-line.”
Homeless people suffer from sleep deprivation, absent a right to rest, they are woken frequently by police and security. Their voices have been nearly eliminated from the discussions currently before San Francisco elected officials today. We invite press and media makers to listen to the voices of and ask questions directly to those who have been surviving the sweeps, witnessesing the violence, and have sustainable, logical solutions to share.
_________________________________________________________ Housing Is A Human Right
Collaboration with Christopher Statton New Mural
Clarion Alley, San Francisco
Menjamin Kesejahteraan Untuk Semua
Geneng Street Art Project #3
In October / November 2015 I was honored to be invited to participate in the Geneng Street Art Project in Yogyakarta Indonesia, organized by Ruang Kelas SD
Introduction to Curatorial Process By Rain Rosidi 2015
The Geneng Street Art Project uses the umbrella of street art to be applied to township residents in the area Geneng, Panggungharjo, Sewon, Bantul. Street art is slipped in public spaces, and presents itself in a form that is different from the conventional indoor art galleries. Techniques commonly used in street art include graffiti stencils, murals, wheatpaste, art posters, sticker art, street installations and lock-on sculpture. Additionally video projections are being seen more frequently in street art production.
Geneng Street Art Project invites artists from Yogyakarta and surrounding areas to work together with the township residents and to communicate and interact creatively with the villagers. Geneng villages are primarily agriculture-based, with the majority of its longtime and former residents who are, or were farmers. Over the past several years the community has undergone a shift in land use of the area, resulting in longtime members of the community who have begun to sell their land to new residents or developers for the construction of housing complexes, colleges, restaurants, and shopping centers. With the advent of these new developments the residents who have moved into the area are often from different cultural backgrounds, languages, and ethnicities. Many who rent a house in the village also rent a dorm room as students at the nearby ISI (Institut Seni Indonesia). Additionally, some of the villagers in Geneng are creating new businesses to serve the arrival of the newcomers. As rice farming has begun to decrease, the plots of land have been replaced by houses, shops, boarding houses, restaurants, and so on. In general the culture of the people of Yogyakarta is very friendly and open to newcomers, including the new relationships that have developed with the artists and organizers of the Geneng Street Art Project.
The Geneng Street Art Project is using as much wall space as possible - on homes and businesses - for artists to work with the community / residents to convey messages that reflect the hopes and concerns of the villagers and to provide an opportunity to cultivate dialogs within the existing and new communities and amongst disparate groups.
Artists who have participated in the Geneng Street Art Project have included: Ahmad Idham, Alex TMT, Anagard, Angga/ Ngelangut, Bio, Chitra Ananda Lasalle College of the art Singapore, Christopher Statton, Christophorus Andika Tungul Yuda, DDF (Diskom Drawing Foundation), DS 13, Eggbal Alditio, Farhan Siki, Guerrilas, HereHere, HMJ Kriya, FSR, Ismu feat Dodi, Kukomikan Land, Listiono, LoveHateLove, Media Legal, Megan Wilson, Methodos, Nano Warsono, Naufal Abshar Lasalle College of the art Singapore, NK Enka, Oka Randy Mahendra, Reza Aryanda, Rizky Akbar, Ruang Kelas SD, Sasenitala, Subekti Suban, Santoso, Taring Padi, Uno Cask, Wahyu Eko Prasetyo, Wormfomb or Ied, and Zent Prozent