Lands End is the new Climate Crisis Exhibition at the Cliff House with 27 artists, 14 countries of origin, 30% of artists from California. Many numbers for an impressive exhibition highlight what one can no longer ignore: climate change.
Twenty-seven artists and collectives from around the globe converge at the former Cliff House, activating the dormant dining destination with artworks that highlight the vulnerability of the planet’s health and the interconnectedness between the natural and the human-made worlds. It includes work by Doug Aitken, Ana Teresa Fernández, Andy Goldsworthy, Brian Jungen, and many more.
Organized in partnership by non-profit FOR SITE and the National Park Service, the Lands End exhibition allows the visitor to wander through the former Cliff House moving from one piece of art to the next. Every piece of art comes with a message, whether through the material it is made of or by the direct representation of the climate crisis subject.
As an example, we encourage the visitor to not miss the former Cliff House kitchen where the artists Richard Lang and Judith Selby Lang replaced the food with plastic wastes collected on California beaches (2 tons of plastic!!). The installation is self-explanatory and visually impacting. Or linger in front of Daniel Beltra’s photo of an oil spill.
Also very notable is GEOPHAGIA the piece by Andy Goldsworthy, representing drought as we sadly know it in California. This installation was made in collaboration with Heath Ceramics: Andy Goldsworthy designed the piece and worked remotely with Blaise Bertrand, designer at Heath Ceramics for the realization. GEOPHAGIA, created especially for Lands End, is set in the former dining room. The repurposed restaurant tables have been covered with white clay, resulting in cracked and fissured surfaces that will continue to change as the work ages and dries. The artist typically works with local materials—here, Ione kaolin clay from a mine in California’s Gold Country, near Sacramento. GEOPHAGIA makes an oblique reference to white restaurant tablecloths and dishware and evokes the historic drought now ravaging California.
Art in Conversation with a Historic Site
An iconic San Francisco locale that is part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area and operated by the National Park Service, the former Cliff House provides an ideal venue for framing and exploring critical issues concerning the beauty and fragility of both our natural and built environments. Sited at Lands End, this Victorian-era landmark was built in 1863 and served as a pleasure palace for San Francisco’s Gilded Age elite. Destroyed and rebuilt twice over the next century, the building emerged as a restaurant offering spectacular vistas of the sea, where visitors gathered to indulge in culinary excess and comfort while being mesmerized by the crashing waves. Today, it stands empty, a possible harbinger of things to come, haunted by foregone eras that knew nothing of climate’s wrath.
Exhibition dates: Sunday, November 7, 2021–Sunday, March 27, 2022
Location: The former Cliff House, 1090 Point Lobos Ave., San Francisco
Hours: Thursdays–Sundays, 11 a.m.–5 p.m.
Admission: Free. Admission is by timed entry. To reserve a time in advance, please visit for-site.org.