October 8 – November 5, 2011
Opening Reception: Saturday, October 8, 4-7pm

“At the bottom of the fall we were able to stand again on dry land. The rope could not be recovered. We had flung down the adze from the top of the fall and also the logbook and the cooker wrapped in one of our blouses. That was all, except our wet clothes, that we brought out of the Antarctic, which we had entered a year and a half before with well-found ship, full equipment, and high hopes. That was all of tangible things; but in memories we were rich.

We had pierced the veneer of outside things. We had suffered, starved, and triumphed, grovelled down yet grasped at glory, grown bigger in the bigness of the whole. We had seen god in his splendours, heard the text that Nature renders. We had reached the naked soul of man.” – Excerpt from South, the Diary of Sir Ernest H. Shackleton

Eli Ridgway Gallery is pleased to present Better a Live Ass Than a Dead Lion, a group exhibition of Bay Area artists. The exhibition, curated by David Kasprzak, includes works from Lindsey White, Elisheva Biernoff, Sean McFarland, Joshua Churchill, Matthew Kennedy, Dean Smith, and Richard Misrach.

The title Better a Live Ass Than a Dead Lion is a reference to Antarctic explorer, Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton’s unapologetic approach to life as an expedition and the failure that occasionally accompanies it. This exhibition of photography, video, film, and installation creates a narrative around the idea of exploration as a creative process – an exploration of the miraculous through constructed landscapes, fictional histories, and the documentation of real journeys.

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