May 08, 2006


After work Wednesday evening I trundled up to Urbis Artium for the opening of the group show Caesura. The gallery was filled with blood paintings by Jordan Eagles, an X-ray installation by Clint Imboden, assemblages by Craig LaRotonda and Kim Maria, and sculpture by David Zuttermeister. I liked the artists' awareness of bodies and mortality, and Eagles's blood paintings in particular were unsettlingly luminous.

Later that evening Aimee and I went to the Parkway to finally see V for Vendetta. It had a few redeeming qualities: John Hurt, Stephen Rea, Freddy Honeychurch I mean Rupert Graves, Stephen Fry, Natalie Portman's pre-headfuck wardrobe. Otherwise I thought it was a big sloppy mess. The Wachowskis seem eager to draw parallels to current American society, but by making a terrorist a hero all of their pointed criticism rings hollow. I'm not the first to point out that Alan Moore's V was a much more ambivalent character in the source material than he appears in the movie. Comparisons to the comic book aside, I don't like movies that confuse justice with vengeance. I'm unsurprised Moore has refused to let his name be associated with the film.


I took a long lunch on Thursday to walk up to Hang and see Catherine Ryan's solo show Being There. It seems like I've been looking at a lot of art lately that uses photography as a jumping-off point. In Ryan's case, her paintings look like blown-up snapshots, except with the shapes flattened into flat blocks of color. My favorite, predictably, was a small painting of a boy brushing a black cat.

The SFMOMA Artists Gallery was using Astroboy to advertise its 13th Annual Artists Warehouse Sale, so I buzzed by Fort Mason after work later that evening to check it out. Pieces were hung floor-to-ceiling, and as a painting was sold it was taken down and a new one hung in its place, constantly reshuffling the wallscape. And with prices 50-75% off they were doing a brisk business while I was there, that's for sure. Upstairs people jostled each other as they sorted through stacks of smaller prints and photographs a la the UCSC student print sale. Oh if only I had an extra few hundred dollars just lying around.

It's hard to believe Michelle Tea has never written a traditional novel before now, but Rose of No Man's Land is indeed her first. The excerpt she read Thursday night at City Lights was great, snarky and laugh-out-loud funny and so perfectly capturing the feeling of being 14 and having nothing to do but get into trouble at the urging of your questionable best friend. I did want to ask her what is up with the cover, with its glamor-babe shot and hot pink accents, but I totally chickened out.


Warehouse 1310 was hosting the otherDANCE Festival Saturday night, and Aimee and I stopped by on our way to the Richard Buckner show at Bottom of the Hill. Highlights included an invitation to wear hollowed-out Mac monitors on our heads (Aimee went for it, while I avoided eye contact), signing eggs to George and Saddam and then chucking at them in effigy, and oh yeah amazing dance. I loved the setup of the space, which encouraged a lot of casual interaction between the spectators and the dancers. I will also mention tangentially that a considerable swath of the Bay Area's population of handsome men seemed to be attendance. Now if only I could get one of them to talk to me.


It would have been fun to attend the Second Annual San Francisco Mermayd Parade Sunday afternoon, to ogle the pirates and feel deep nostalgia while listening to the Mermen play. But a 3:30-6am DJ shift that morning and the resulting sleep deprivation made staying in the East Bay a much more attractive proposition.

I did manage to make it to Oakland that afternoon to see the Irresistible Small Creatures show at Rock Paper Scissors, The Most Beautiful Sunset that You've Ever Seen. However the collective was closed up tight, either in recovery from their 1st birthday party the night before or in preparation for the reusable cloth menstrual pad class that evening. I did spy a rack of fake clothing in the window, playing off the excellent selection of locally-made duds RPS normally sells and reminiscent of Claes Oldenburg's shop windows. I'll have to go back to see the whole show another time.


Urbis Artium
V for Vendetta
Hang Art
SFMOMA 13th Annual Artists Warehouse Sale
City Lights
Michelle Tea
otherDANCE Festival
The Second Annual San Francisco Mermayd Parade
Rock Paper Scissors Collective
Irresistible Small Creatures

Posted by nightfall at May 8, 2006 09:30 PM