Matt Sussman

Not forgotten

The SF Arts Commission Gallery's "Afghanistan in 4 Frames" brings together images from a quartet of photographers. SFMOMA's mammoth exhibition "Exposed" errs on the side of excess.

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arts@sfbg.com

HAIRY EYEBALL Around 500 people a day pass through the long corridor that bisects San Francisco City Hall's lower level: supervisors dashing to the café for a quick lunch; tour groups of elementary school children; aides making a post office run; the occasional member of a wedding party looking for the bathroom.Read more »

Every little star

Eva Hesse is showcased at Berkeley Art Museum, while Katy Grannan brings the streets to Fraenkel Gallery
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HAIRY EYEBALL In 1979, the UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive received a generous and somewhat unusual gift from the sister of the late German-born, pioneering American sculptor Eva Hesse: an assortment of small experimental works, made by Hesse herself, in materials such as latex, cloth, wax, fiberglass, wire mesh, and masking tape. What made these objects so unusual was their very indeterminacy. Should they be thought of as proper Hesse pieces? Read more »

Crack-ups

Noir City 9 corrals characters on the edge

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arts@sfbg.com

FILM Who wants to die for art? That question, immortally screamed by Divine at the climax of John Waters' Female Trouble (1974), has most recently been taken up by Darren Aronofsky's campy psychological thriller Black Swan (2010), in which Natalie Portman's fragile ballerina discovers that giving her all as the good and evil leads in an edgy production of Swan Lake requires giving up her sanity, and eventually, her life. Read more »

La Frontera

Hairy Eyeball: Tracey Snelling's 10-year retrospective at Rena Bransten haunts the edge of town, while Max Cole's show at Haines gets geological

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arts@sfbg.com

HAIRY EYEBALL Walking through Tracey Snelling's 10-year survey at Rena Bransten brings to mind the famous opening tracking shot of Orson Welles' 1958 noir Touch of Evil. For over three tension-ratcheting minutes Welles' camera — all swooping omniscience — takes in the garish sights and sounds of a tourist outpost along the U.S.-Mexico border as it tails an American car that, unbeknownst to the couple behind the wheel, has been planted with a bomb that's about to go off.Read more »

Sawako's choice

Nobody's special in Yuya Ishii's comedies

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arts@sfbg.com

FILM Sawako Decides, the most recent feature by the talented 27 year-old Japanese director Yuya Ishii, might not be the best film of 2010 that you never saw, but it certainly ranks as one of last year's funniest — and perhaps more debatably, most feminist.Read more »

Look forward in anger

YEAR IN ART: A firestorm of controversy in the larger art world -- but here in San Francisco, visions were clear and wide-ranging

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arts@sfbg.com

HAIRY EYEBALL/YEAR IN ART The year in art is ending on a note both sour and defiant. On Nov. 30, Smithsonian Secretary G. Wayne Clough, caving to criticism voiced by conservative politicians and religious groups, ordered the removal of David Wojnarowicz's 1987 video A Fire in My Belly from the National Portrait Gallery's exhibition "Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture." It was a cowardly decision; one that ultimately has undermined the credibility of Clough and his institution.Read more »

SF Camerawork and YBCA do the right thing (Updated)

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Stop me if you think that you've heard this one before: a Washington DC art institution caves in to right wing politicians and conservative Christians calling for the removal of "controversial" work made by an openly gay artist. Read more »

Where everybody knows your name

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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arts@sfbg.com

HAIRY EYEBALL It can be easy to get cynical about the business side of art, so it's always refreshing when a local labor of love such as Romer Young — the small Dogpatch gallery formerly known as Ping Pong — demonstrates that growth doesn't necessarily entail compromising one's vision.Read more »

The face of Cher

Burlesque musings

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(In the style of Roland Barthes' The Face of Garbo.) Cher's face belongs to our current moment in cinema when the female visage represents a kind of absolute non-state of the flesh, which can be reached through a variety of (as-yet-not-entirely-confirmed) nips, tucks, filler injections, makeup and post-production airbrushing.Read more »

Timbre!

Love is a Stream and Jefre Cantu-Ledesma knows how to glide along

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arts@sfbg.com

MUSIC Local multi-instrumentalist and Root Strata label cofounder Jefre Cantu-Ledesma has titled his newest solo album, Love is a Stream (Type), but the watercourse this robust and unexpectedly sharp collection of dazzlers brings to mind is Niagara Falls.Read more »