The Mission district of San Francisco has an aura that continues to seduce people from all around the world. Most of its appeal emerges from people’s collective memory of what happened during the 60’s and 70’s in San Francisco, and from the way in which the Latino and Chicano communities turned this neighborhood of the West Coast into one of the most important artistic, musical and creative hubs during those decades. This mysticism seems to be even more relevant now that the neighborhood’s murals, artistic scenes and artists themselves are being fetishised and threatened by increasing gentrification and the influx of excessive amounts of money in the hands of young newcomers. Most of its oldest inhabitants are currently fighting to live up to the unique energy of this place, in the face of endless evictions, constant displacement and severe segregation.
Phantom Mission was a time traveling machine on April 9th 2016, thought as a way to chase the elusive histories of the times that made the Mission into what it now is. The show doesn’t aspire to be a nostalgic time capsule into a time past, but rather a way to actualize the past into the present, and travel into a space in history that is currently being displaced from people’s collective imaginary. Dogpaw Carrillo, an artist born in the Mission in the 50’s, is the mind behind this show. Having lived in the Mission all his life, his artwork and collections speak to the history of this neighborhood and the ways in which is has changed through time. Along with photographs by Doug Johnson, a San Francisco based artist since the 60’s, there were projections of concerts relevant to the era, a liquid light show on the ceiling, a collection of posters and objects, and a artist talk by Dogpaw.