"Enter the Center"

Ribbons Productions expands beyond direct collaboration
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A work by Frank Lyon

REVIEW Full disclosure would take up the full piece, so I'll just say that in spite of knowing both David Wilson and Frank Lyon well as friends, I'm hardly alone in counting them as two of the Bay Area's most celebratory and engaging young creators. They've largely steered their efforts away from the typical venues that comprise San Francisco's music-art coordinates thus far, especially in their periodic outdoor music gatherings. A eucalyptus grove in Berkeley, old military tunnels overlooking the Pacific, a comfy crater — all have been transformed into communicative commons under the purview of Ribbons Productions, Wilson and Lyon's encapsuutf8g entity for performances, small-press books, a blog par excellence, and now their premier SF exhibition, "Enter the Center."

The show — comfortably and spaciously laid out in the Eleanor Harwood Gallery — is a new turn for Ribbons in its expansion beyond direct collaborations, although both artists' solo contributions echo Ribbons' overarching ethos involving landscape, temporality, and process. Wilson's billowy pencil drawings of Contra Costa hills and decorative collections of seeds, fruits, and other fibrous materials possess a persistent attentiveness and loose-limbed appreciation: his gigantic HEAL landscape unfolds over several record-sleeve panels, gently nudging viewers toward an equation of space and time. Lyon's entrancing collages pose as hats, capes, and tree stumps. Beyond these preoccupying surfaces, the pieces function as windows onto emotional reckoning and magnificent obsession. The exhibit also showcases a new book, which arrives with a DVD including a generous helping of Ship songs — Wilson and Lyon's music duo, one of the Guardian's picks for its class of 2007 — performed in treetops. Finally, it wouldn't be Ribbons without communion: the second of two special concerts is scheduled at the gallery for Feb. 9 and highlights recent Guardian cover model Arp, a new Brendan Fowler (BARR) project, and Pocahaunted.

ENTER THE CENTER Through Sat/9. Thurs.–Sat., 1–5 p.m. Eleanor Harwood Gallery, 1295 Alabama, SF. (415) 867-7770, www.eleanorharwood.com

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