Thursday, May 09, 2019 - 3:49 pm

San Diego, CAOn the evening of Thursday, June 20, the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego will present three new exhibitions at its monthly free program, Downtown at Sundown.

Marnie Weber: Songs that Never Die and Other Stories; More like a Forest: Paintings and Sculptures by Richard Allen Morris; and Prospect 2019 will remain on view through November 3, 2019. 

Downtown at Sundown takes place from 5 to 8 PM at MCASD Downtown, located at 1100 Kettner Blvd. San Diego, CA 92101. For interviews and high-resolution images, please contact Communications & Marketing Manager Leah Straub at 858 454 3541 x119;

Marnie Weber emerged in Los Angeles’s punk music and performance art scene of the 1980s, and has since become known for installations in which sculpture, film, music, costuming, and collage come together to form whole, fantastical worlds. Weber’s homespun, haunted-house aesthetic evokes the gothic side of American folkloric traditions, imparting a sense of old-time magic to narratives of lost innocence. Her dream-like films feature a cast of motley characters, including animals, monsters, trees, and clowns, with supernatural female protagonists at their center. In the artist’s macabre fairy tales, these figures navigate uncanny landscapes on journeys of transformation.

In 2005, Weber debuted her film installation Songs That Never Die, which introduced the Spirit Girls, a fictitious all-female rock band whose members died tragically in the 1970s. Wearing white masks, long wigs, and Victorian nightgowns, the Spirit Girls were inspired by the male theatrical rock bands of Weber’s youth. The band also reflects Weber’s interest in the American Spiritualist movement of the 19th century, in which young women were the central public actors, performing séances before audiences. Like the Spiritualists, who ushered in the nascent women’s rights movement, the Spirit Girls’ music delivers messages of liberation from the great beyond. With Weber performing as lead singer, the Spirit Girls appeared in three subsequent films and numerous live performances over the course of a decade.

This focused exhibition of recent acquisitions from MCASD’s collection presents three Spirit Girls films—Songs That Never Die (2005), A Western Song (2007), and The Campfire Song (2008)—in conjunction with sculptures, photographs, and a related early film, The Forgotten (2001).

In 1980, Richard Allen Morris constructed a body of sculptural totems out of splintered wood debris gathered from a demolished building near his studio in downtown San Diego. The group of 39 sculptures was presented at the La Jolla Museum of Contemporary Art (now MCASD) at its downtown annex on G Street as part of the artist’s mid-career survey in 1988.

More like a Forest: Paintings and Sculptures by Richard Allen Morris reprises that sculptural installation, presenting the complete series in MCASD Downtown’s Strauss Gallery. Morris stored the sculptures at his Golden Hill studio until 2018, when urban redevelopment forced him to relocate.

Borrowing its title from an essay on Morris by the late artist-poet David Antin, the current presentation offers a tribute to Morris’s ceaseless transformation of ordinary materials into extraordinary creations. On another level, the exhibition points to ongoing issues of gentrification in downtown San Diego and the struggle of local artists to find sustainable work spaces. Accompanying the installation will be a selection of Morris’s paintings from MCASD’s permanent holdings, featuring pieces from 1960—when the Museum began collecting Morris’s work—to the 2000s.

Prospect is an annual exhibition of artworks considered for acquisition displayed alongside works from the Museum’s collection. The eclectic exhibition features works that are reflective of the Museum’s current interests and are presented to Members of the Contemporary and International Collectors group for consideration. Through their annual dues, these generous supporters provide funds that assist in strengthening MCASD’s collection. Since the group’s inception, the Contemporary and International Collectors group has gifted more than 120 artworks to the Museum, many of which have since become cornerstones of the collection.

Prospect 2019 features six artists whose practices explore issues of figuration and representation through a range of media including painting, drawing, photography and sculpture. This year’s proposed artists include Martine Gutierrez, Paul Mpagi Sepuya, Toyin Ojih Odutola, Lara Schnitger, Tschabalala Self, and Cecilia Vicuña.

Also on View > 1001 Kettner Blvd.

To Do · A Mending Project is conceived of by artists Michelle Montjoy, Anna O’Cain, and Siobhán Arnold in response to the escalation of political, social, and economic tensions in the United States that have increased a sense of divisiveness within our culture. The project will remain on view in the Museum’s galleries across the street at 1001 Kettner Blvd. from June 20 through September 22, 2019. The artists will organize and teach a series of workshops on topics ranging from traditional, domestic, and repair tasks to movement, breathing, and sound. Together they will create an environment in which one can learn a new skill, repair a treasured garment, or simply find healing in the act of speaking with others and building community.


Founded in 1941, the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (MCASD) is the preeminent contemporary visual arts institution in San Diego County. The Museum's collection includes more than 4,700 works of art created since 1950. In addition to presenting exhibitions by international contemporary artists, the Museum serves thousands of children and adults annually at its varied education programs, and offers a rich program of film, performance, and lectures. MCASD is a private, nonprofit organization, with 501c3 tax-exempt status; it is supported by generous contributions and grants from MCASD Members and other individuals, corporations, foundations, and government agencies. Kathryn Kanjo is The David C. Copley Director and CEO at MCASD. Institutional support for MCASD is provided by the City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture.