Wednesday, December 9, 2009


Adobe Books Backroom Gallery presents "Oppobrium" the solo exhibition and public debut of a recent book project by artist Toban Nichols.

Opprobrium is an appropriation and deconstruction of “Vogue’s Book of Etiquette and Good Manners” published by Conde Nast Publications, 1969. Taking apart the post-war book of manners, Nichols scanned and recompiled a seemingly exact copy of the original text. Using Optical Character Recognition, a computer program that creates an electronic translation of images of printed text, an algorithm was designed to translate and recontextualize the volume by replacing every fourth word of the manuscript with the word pussy. Bound in pink cloth boards with gilt lettering on the spine, Nichols’ deconstructed version provides a fascinating glimpse into antiquated notions of etiquette.

Accompanying the deconstructed tome, Nichols' produced an instructional video that provides a psychological, political and aesthetic reflection on gendered realities, whether self-created and/or a product of socialization. Nichols dissects, inverts and reconverts the civilizing process as well as the televisual display of femininity manufactured by our media dominated culture. As a resuult, Opprobrium is not only a provocation of the meaningless restrictions on social behavior, but also calls into question how these realities affect the ways we perceive ourselves.

Showing at Adobe Books for the first time, Toban Nichols is a deconstructivist artist who lives and works in Los Angeles. His work has been seen internationally in SCOPE New York, SCOPE Basel, the Digital Fringe Festival in Melbourne, Australia, Les Territoires in Montreal, Canada, as well as the Seattle Art Museum. After earning a Bachelors degree in painting, Nichols moved West to study New Media at the San Francisco Art Institute where he received his MFA in Digital Media and Videography. Toban Nichols was granted a residency with the Experimental Television Center in New York and awarded the Juror’s Pick at the ArtHouse Film Festival in 2009 for his video BATTLESTATIONS!! His work was recently exhibited at David Cunningham Projects (San Francisco) and at the San Francisco Gay Bisexual Transgender Community Center.

Please join Adobe Books for the opening reception for "Oppobrium" on Friday, 11 December, 2009, 7:00-9pm.

Exhibition Dates: Friday, 11 December to 10 January, 2010
Toban Nichols in the SF Bay Guardian.
Toban Nichols on Bay Area events site SFist.
Toban Nichols on Flavorpill's San Francisco events page.