Published in SF Weekly, May 25th, 2011
The United States has Bigfoot, while our neighbors to the north in Canada report seeing the Nuk-luk. Japan in turn has the Hibagon, and regions in South America have the Mapinguari. Around the world are legends of beasts that live just beyond the outskirts of society and are glimpsed only occasionally by humans. (Make that “humans with low-grade video equipment.”) One of the most famous is the Himalayan Yeti, also known by his nickname the Abominable Snowman, whose footprints were reportedly espied by Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgayon their Everest ascent but whose existence has never been proven. Nearly as elusive is Aaron Eliah Terry’s alter ego, the Urban Yetti, but fortunately for us the creature is making a rare appearance in the Tenderloin for Terry’s solo show, “Resistance to the Indignities of Modern Life.” An accomplished artist and printmaker, Terry created his character several years ago, inspired by his experience growing up in the woods of upstate New York. The Urban Yetti has since been photographed roaming the streets and shorelines of San Francisco, and in this exhibition Terry invites you to become part of the Yetti’s ever-changing narrative. The gallery has become the creature’s cave, with costumes and masks available for those inclined to participate. Terry also recently expanded the project by inviting friends and associates to wear the costume in situations of their own choosing, an exercise in collective mythmaking; the results provided yet more creative fodder for this show. To miss it would be, well, abominable.
June 2-23, 2011
By Heidi De Vries