Picks, pans, and a top 10

Artists and curators sound off on 2008
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CHUCK MOBLEY, CURATOR AT SF CAMERAWORK

Pan: SF Art Institute's furlough

A humble proposal to those laid off for a month: exchange your individual voice for a collective one and begin intervening by employing the crafty tools of activism as an artful device of communication in order to effect positive change for your institution. As culture workers you are bound to succeed.
Pick: The Size Queens, Magic Dollar Shoppe (Bitter Stag)

A lineup of Bay Area all-stars have produced a multi-layered disc of anti-globalization, anti-pop culture anthems filled with pathos and wit. By turns literary, cheeky, melancholic, and celebratory, this music is the perfect accompaniment to a protest or a Naomi Klein lecture.

XYLOR JANE, ARTIST

Pick: P&H 2 (Behemoth), 2007, oil on canvas, 84" x 92", from "Amy Sillman: Third Person Singular,"

at Tang Museum, Saratoga, NY

This painting stares you down and sizes you up. I lock a gaze. I'm a little scared. I can hear and smell every single thing near me. IT makes you bristle, puff, straighten and square the challenge, feet planted for a tussle. The hot center smokes and glows blood fire, breathes through clamped jaws, "What the fuck are you?". Turns a thick neck and swings an armored tail. THWACK. Hit, jolted, burnt? Part of me melts away, Oh, just my outers, clothes and skin. Hair.

LAWRENCE RINDER, DIRECTOR OF BERKELEY ART MUSEUM AND PACIFIC FILM ARCHIVE

1. Odetta at Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival
2. Donal Mosher and Michael Palmieri's documentary film October Country
3. Conspiracy of Venus at Adobe Books
4. "Ajit Chahuan: Milky Way of Breeding Stallions That Roll, Ejacuutf8g By Themselves," at Adobe Books Backroom Gallery
5. "Paul Schiek: the thing about you is that you will end up like me," at Stephen Wirtz Gallery
6. Leah Marks' senior show at California College of the Arts
7. Jennifer Blowdryer
8. Andy Goldsworthy's The Spire in the Presidio
9. Brontez at Dog Eared Books
10. Frederic Rzewsky, solo piano at Mills College

WILLIAM E. JONES, FILMMAKER

Pick: Odires Mlászho

At São Paulo's Galeria Vermelho this fall, I saw the sexy and cerebral, disciplined and dissipated work of Mlászho for the first time. He juxtaposes ordinary mortal faces and Roman portrait sculptures with geometric rigor in his collage series "A Fossil Dig Full of Hooks." He cunningly cements pages of reference books together in his sculpture Enciclopédia Britânica. His most powerful works (from a series called "Butchers and Master Apprentices") involve elaborate collage rearrangements of male nudes that manage to look at once disemboweled and bloodless. Diaphanous yet strong, a body becomes a deconstruction of a flesh-colored Herman Miller lamp.

AVA JANCAR, CO-OWNER OF JANCAR JONES GALLERY

Pick: The current Berkeley Art Museum

A few months ago I found a pamphlet-like publication at an antique shop in Alameda, its cover austere, reading simply University Arts Center. Detailed within were the elevation plans of the elegantly modern yet utilitarian Mario Ciampi design for the Berkeley Art Museum's current site. Opened in 1970 and constructed in a brutalist manner, with fanning interior cantilevers around an airy core, the concrete building is to be replaced soon with a design by international architect Toyo Ito. My past year of visits to the museum has been colored by this knowledge, and I've begun to mourn its impending loss. In spite of the current structure's seismic instability, it remains baffling to me that a community is so quick to dispose of this local icon, not yet 50 years old.