July 17, 2006

Cosmic Satellites

I'm afraid that for the duration of Season 3 of Project Runway, the tradition of 2-for-1 Wednesday movie nights at the Parkway will have to be temporarily suspended. I'm not even a TV-watcher, but that show is like crack.


Thursday night I drove over to Dogpatch after work to attend David Johnson's opening Cubes and Tubes at Ping Pong Gallery. I walked in to find a young toddler sitting on the floor in front of a thin vertical column of shimmering red light seemingly built right into the gallery wall, holding up his hands to create shadows that danced with the light. Johnson's neon, whether encased in cardboard or concrete, reminds me of Dan Flavin with a distinctly Mission edge. Very cool stuff.

From Ping Pong I ran over to Modern Times Books for a reading to celebrate the publication of the third issue of local magazine and self-proclaimed "literary exploration of San Francisco" Instant City. Ecstatic Monkey Literary Promotions hosted, and authors Joe Donahoe, Raina Bird, and b. Armstrong were in attendance. Donahoe read a piece about his time with SF's needle exchange program, and Armstrong a story about a woman in Oakland who develops some trouble with her arms. I thought both readings were great, and then Ms Bird wrapped up the evening (and pretty much stole the show) with her account of her first and only San Francisco rave experience that I related to perhaps a bit more than I wanted to let on in public.


Saturday I got the chance to crash out in front of a DVD, something I haven't done in months. I picked Camille Claudel, with Isabelle Adjani and Gerard Depardieu as Claudel and Rodin respectively. It's an excellent film for anyone interested in Claudel's work, and Adjani perfectly captures the sculptor's artistic intensity as it gradually shifts into madness. Would her mind have deteriorated even without her relationship with Rodin? We'll never know, just as we'll never know how much of his work from that period she might have sculpted herself. It got me to thinking about the plight of the female creative as lover, collaborator, and muse. It's poignant that one of the best places to see her work is at the Musée Rodin in Paris, where it is exhibited right next to Monsieur Rodin's, at his request. Then again, his sculptures of her are truly beautiful as well.


Sunday afternoon I wandered over to the Lake Merritt Sailboat House to take advantage of the sunny summer day and to check out Oaklandish's Radio-Regatta. A DJ was spinning funky tunes on the balcony while patrons set out into the lake from the docks below in paddleboats and kayaks and rowboats. I unfortunately left before Khris and John arrived, but I got a joyful midlake call from Khris as John rowed them toward the island. I love the East Bay.


Ping Pong Gallery
Modern Times Books
Instant City
Camille Claudel

Posted by nightfall at July 17, 2006 09:02 PM