Where everybody knows your name - Page 2

HAIRY EYEBALL: Formerly known as Ping Pong Gallery, Romer Young Gallery steps into the new year. Plus: Phase one of "Disponible — a kind of Mexican show" has taken over Walter and McBean Gallery

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Image from "Disponible — a kind of Mexican show"

Both pieces are less impressive, however, when you attempt to view them individually. Without the extra visual accompaniment, Iturbide's deconstructed drum kit — played via algorithmically-controlled speaker cones whose vibrations sound the cymbals and drum heads they're attached to — loses its initial impact. Likewise, separated from Iturbide's soundtrack, Zamora's piece resembles the forgotten remains of a half-finished install job.

This creeping feeling of "is that all there is?" that both Zamora's and Iturbide's pieces evokes seems, at least partially, by design. The exhibit takes its name from the text on empty advertising billboards throughout Mexico, in which disponible is followed by a phone number. Playing off the double meaning of disponible as "available" and also "potentially changeable" or "disposable," the curatorial team of Hou Hanru, SFAI's director of exhibitions and public programs, and Guillermo Santamarina, an independent curator based in Mexico City, aren't so much devaluing the pieces they've selected as they are loosening the conceptual strictures implicit in putting on a show of contemporary Mexican art. I can't wait to see what Hanru and Santamarina have in store for phase two of the exhibit, which opens in February.

CHAD STAYROOK: UNATTAINABLE BEAST

Fri/10 through Jan. 15, 2011

Romer Young Gallery

1240 22nd St., SF

(415) 550-7483

www.romeryounggallery.com

DISPONIBLE — A KIND OF MEXICAN SHOW (PHASE ONE)

Through Jan. 22

Walter and McBean Galleries, San Francisco Art Institute

800 Chestnut, SF

(415) 749-4563

www.waltermcbean.com

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