It was raining steadily when I ducked inside the Metreon’s food court with a meal on my mind. I cruised the sumptuous options and was enticed by a sign at Fresca Garden boasting a half cheese pizza and a soda on the side for $10. I basked in the warmth emanating from the restaurant’s two pizza ovens as I ordered. Naught but five minutes after placing my order I took my seat and my half-pie was whisked over. It only took me a few minutes to finish because not only was I hungry, but this was one of the most satisfying pizzas I’ve had in a long while. Now it was on to the true meal du jour: the Contemporary Jewish Museum and its newest exhibits.
I braved the downpour once again and crossed Mission Street over to the museum. I began my visit on the first floor, with Cara Levine: To Survive I Need You To Survive. Levine is a Los Angeles-based artist using sculpture, video, and socially based practices to probe themes of grief and interconnectedness. Her work explores the use of ritual in her art to make room for healing, and the exhibit explores how she does so within her communities as well.
L’chaim: Celebrating Our Building at 15 takes a deep dive into the integrated symbolism of the museum’s architecture, which is often mystic in nature and to gain some insight into the mind of the museum’s architect, Daniel Libeskind.
I then made ascent to the 2nd floor, where Gillian Laub’s photo collection, Family Matters holds lively residence. Her photos invited me into the intimate moments of her family life. Snippets of the installation’s accompanying book are paired with the series’ chapters, creating a rich story of her family’s love, loyalty, acceptance and loss. It was a full day in Yerba Buena and there is still so much more to explore.
Cara Levine’s work is on display through July 30, 2023; L’Chaim: Celebrating Our Building at 15 through June 9, 2024, and Gillian Laub: Family Matters is on view through April 9, 2023. The museum is open Thursday through Sunday, 11:00 AM – 5:00 PM.