Eight bridges connect the San Francisco Bay, so it is an apt name for a gallery platform that brings the Bay Area art world together.

Our mission is to maintain a vibrant gallery scene, despite restrictions on travel, celebrations and other larger gatherings. We want to support our artists by informing and entertaining curators, collectors and critics with potent online exhibitions of their work.

On the first Thursday of every month, we will launch 8 shows of artists relevant to the Bay Area. They may be working in this place, long considered an epicenter of change, or deeply engaged in the conversations the Bay Area holds dear, whether it’s related to technology, the environment, social justice or sexual identity, to name a few. In addition, each month will highlight the crucial work of a Bay Area non-profit arts organization as its beneficiary, with an initial donation led by Phillips.

Founding Committee

Claudia Altman-Siegel, Kelly Huang, Sophia Kinell, Micki Meng, Daphne Palmer, Chris Perez, Sarah Wendell Sherrill, Jessica Silverman, and Elizabeth Sullivan

Ambassador Committee

Sayre Batton & Maja Thomas, Joachim & Nancy Bechtle, Matt Bernstein, Sabrina Buell, Wayee Chu & Ethan Beard, Natasha Boas, Douglas Durkin, Carla Emil, Matt & Jessica Farron, Lauren Ford, Ali Gass, Stanlee Gatti, Brook Hartzell & Tad Freese, Pamela & David Hornik, Katie & Matt Paige, Putter Pence, Becca Prowda & Daniel Lurie, Deborah Rappaport, Komal Shah & Gaurav Garg, Laura Sweeney, The Battery, Robin Wright, Sonya Yu & Zack Lara

Sponsors

Lobus, Phillips, The Space Program

Commonwealth and Council
Kenneth Tam
Silent Spikes

An outgrowth of Kenneth Tam’s research into the history of diasporic Asians in the United States, Silent Spikes, on view at the Queens Museum through June 2021, interrogates Asian-American masculinity through video and sculpture in an immersive installation. For 8-bridges, the artist has produced a single-channel version of the film. The below video is an excerpt; please contact for full version.

Probing the intersections of gender, economics, and race, the work draws on the historical relationships of cowboy culture, idea(l)s of Manifest Destiny, the remaking of the American West through conquest and colonialism, migration histories, the mass propagation of stereotypes in Hollywood cinema—particularly in Western films—and contemporary experiences of Asian-American males.

Over 20,000 Chinese men worked on the construction of the treacherous western portion of the Transcontinental Railroad, which celebrated its 150th anniversary last year. Silent Spikes draws connections between the recruitment of Chinese male bodies that were both necessary and productive members of this workforce and heavily discriminated against, and the experiences of young Asian-American men in the insecure conditions of the post-industrial labor force​.​ These new works consider the homogenized construct of Asian-American identity alongside the paradigm of Anglo-American individualistic maleness. Tam integrates his own relationship to the latter’s imagery, most notably embodied by the Marlboro Man. It is as if Tam asks, can an Asian man truly inhabit or embody the touchstones of (white) American masculinity and its attendant freedom?

The eponymous video component of Silent Spikes employs local participants as performers, scripted and directed by Tam. In previous works Tam solicited performers from Craigslist; Silent Spikes seeks a relationship with its participants, sourced from Asian-American communities in Flushing, Queens. The performers interact with each other and with props from cowboy standbys (caressing a green plastic cowhead, mounted on a featureless mechanical bull)  rendered incongruous and strange by the vacant, misty backdrop of a stage set. There is an awkwardness to these sequences, seeing grown contemporary men in cowboy drag, a self-awareness and self-consciousness revealed by their confrontation with histories of exploitation and erasure.

Transgressing boundaries of gendered and racialized labor and social value through movement, the video invites us to consider the ways in which maleness and concepts of productive and nonproductive labor are entangled, as they are registered within and expressed by the body. Forming the core of the video, this performative ensemble of Asian-American men is framed by sites in Flushing that range from characteristically dense and urban to uncannily barren, creating moments of slippage between these landscapes and film sites along the California railroad. Working through and with a range of cinematic references, Silent Spikes ​effects a collective investigation of the concomitance of the paradigm of masculinity with capitalist economic structures and the imperial impulse.

Silent Spikes, 2021

Single-channel HD video, color, sound

Duration: 20 minutes 29 seconds

Edition 1 of 5 + 2 AP’s

$20,000