Visitors enjoy the 2011 MFA Graduate Exhibition at the Winery SF on Treasure Island.

Public Special Events


Film Screening: Playtime
Monday, October 15, 2012 - 7:30pm - 10:00pm
Lecture Hall
Free and open to the public
San Francisco Art Institute
800 Chestnut Street
San Francisco,

About the Film
The centerpiece sequence of Jacques Tati’s nearly dialogue-free opus, Playtime, is an opening night collapse of a chic eatery. The glue holding together civility and modernist architecture doesn’t quite maintain its grip: floor tiles adhere to waiters’ shoes, glass doors perfectly shatter, and the dance floor grows increasingly ebullient the more the fixtures fall. The sleekly composed film ostensibly follows a gaggle of American tourists, as well as Tati’s flustered oaf character, through a soulless international version of Paris in which cement and glass edifices are strange conflations of airport, hospital, office complex, and subdivided convention center. Tati’s choreographed critique of modernism is all the more poignant for the fact that he built a nearly functional city to serve as the set for his 70mm film, a folly that nearly ruined his career. In Temporary Structures, Playtime serves as a tone-setting device, an ephemeral world that exists forever in cinematic space.

This film screening is one of three to be held in conjunction with the Temporary Structures exhibition. Don't miss I am Cuba (Soy Cuba) by Mikhail Kalatozov (October 1) and Urs Fischer by Iwan Schumacher (November 19). 


About Temporary Structures
September 14–December 15

Curated by Glen Helfand and Cydney M. Payton, this FREE interdisciplinary exhibition explores the allure of temporary architecture as a site of human interaction, spectacle, and fun. Inspired by San Francisco’s colorful history of World’s Fairs and expositions, the exhibition includes works—many of them site-specific—concerned with architectural aspirations, follies, and momentary acts of cultural transformation.

In addition to the works on display in the Walter and McBean Galleries, SFAI invites you to a series of exhibition-related film screenings, performances, lectures, and other events this fall! For a full schedule, please visit

Participating Artists
Pawel Althamer, Roberto Behar & Rosario Marquardt, David Gissen, Amy M. Ho, Paul Kos, Roy McMakin, Christian Nagler & Azin Seraj, Ben Peterson, Michael Robinson, Jonathan Runcio, Mungo Thomson, and Together We Can Defeat Capitalism

The Walter and McBean Galleries 
The Walter and McBean Galleries on SFAI’s 800 Chestnut Street campus house exhibitions, workshops, and other alternative and experimental avenues for presenting work by international contemporary artists.

Tuesday through Saturday, 11 am–6 pm
Closed Thanksgiving Day

For a complete schedule of SFAI's lectures and events, please visit