Event has passed (Wed Jan 10, 2018 - Sun Mar 11, 2018)
The Chapel at Fort Mason
11am - 6pm
Claim this listing


The notion of sanctuary - both physical and psychological - has been fundamental in shaping a sense of selfhood and social identity throughout human history. But in an era of increasing global migration and rising nationalism, the right to safe haven is under threat, and the necessity for compassion is greater than ever. For its latest presentation of art about place, FOR-SITE invited 36 artists from 21 different countries to design contemporary rugs reflecting on sanctuary, offering visitors a multiplicity of perspectives on the basic human need for refuge, protection, and sacred ground.

The participating artists represent diverse ideologies and backgrounds (many including experiences as migrants and refugees), but their contributions to the exhibition—spectacularly varied in content and design—conform to a single format, lending a unifying element that bridges racial, cultural, and religious differences. Installed on the floor of the historic Fort Mason Chapel, the four-by-six-foot wool rugs—woven in Lahore, Pakistan, using traditional materials and hand-knotting techniques—call to mind traditional prayer rugs, but they transcend religious connotations, encompassing thoughtful viewpoints on cultural identity, sense of place, and belonging. The rugs are meant to be appreciated by touch as well as sight; visitors are encouraged to remove shoes and walk, sit, and recline on the artworks—to quietly contemplate our shared humanity and this space of sanctuary.

Participating Artists

Hamra Abbas (Kuwait)
Adel Abidin (Iraq)
Arwa Abouon (Libya)
Shiva Ahmadi (Iran)
Ai Weiwei (China)
John Akomfrah (Ghana)
Ammar al-Beik (Syria)
Diana Al-Hadid (Syria)
Tammam Azzam (Syria)
Sandow Birk (United States)
Mohammad Bozorgi (Iran)
Jamal Cyrus (United States)
Ala Ebtekar (United States)
Marcos Ramírez ERRE (Mexico)
Brendan Fernandes (Kenya)
Ana Teresa Fernández (Mexico)
Nicholas Galanin (United States)
Jeffrey Gibson (United States)
Sherin Guirguis (Egypt)
Mona Hatoum (Lebanon)
Susan Hefuna (Germany)
Thaier Helal (Syria)
Shirazeh Houshiary (Iran)
Alfredo Jaar (Chile)
Emily Jacir (Palestine)
Hayv Kahraman (Iraq)
Sanaz Mazinani (Iran)
Meleko Mokgosi (Botswana)
Julio César Morales (Mexico)
Aimé Mpane (Democratic Republic of the Congo)
Ranu Mukherjee (United States)
Cornelia Parker (United Kingdom)
Rashid Rana (Pakistan)
Miguel Angel Ríos (Argentina)
Hank Willis Thomas (United States)
Uman (Somalia)


  1. The Chapel at Fort Mason 2 Marina Blvd., San Francisco, CA