Defenestration by Brian Goggin

San Francisco, California, USA

Destroyed 2014

The Disappointed Tourist: Defenestration, Ellen Harvey, 2021. Oil and acrylic on Gessoboard, 18 x 24″ (46 x 61 cm). Photograph: Etienne Frossard.

Defenestration was an art installation in San Francisco’s South of Market neighborhood by Brian Goggin in which cast-off furniture and appliances were attached to the exterior of the vacant and dilapidated Hugo Hotel so that looked as though they were jumping out of the windows. Goggin was originally given permission to install his work by the owner’s daughter in the owner’s absence but, upon his return, the owner and his family enthusiastically embraced the installation, with the result that it became a neighborhood fixture for 17 years. The opening of Defenestration was an eight-hour extravaganza in which thousands of people performed in circus costumes made out of trash and other found objects. The hotel was demolished in 2014 to make way for affordable housing. The painting is based on an uncredited image from Pinterest.

Going south on Howard street, where the Defenestration Project used to be, there was a dip and a bump right before the intersection at 6th. If you hit it just right you would sail through on a mini lift and fall along with all the furniture jumping out the window. They fixed the street right around the time the building was torn down and made into fancy condos. 6th and Howard is boring now. Angela E.