Matt Sussman

Pwning the classics

Jennie Ottinger throws the book at us in "Due By," at Johansson Projects, while Ed Moses serves up acrylic animalia at Brian Gross Fine Arts

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Jennie Ottinger's last solo painting show at Johansson Projects, "ibid," presented an assortment of ghostly figures — ballerinas, nurses, schoolchildren, businessmen — lifted from found photographs. The less-is-more aesthetic of Ottinger's small oil and gouache canvases underscored the fact that, save for the recovered images used as source material, the everyday people depicted in them had long been lost to history.Read more »

America's original sin

Jens Hoffmann finishes his trilogy of literary group shows with a strong take on a Twain classic

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arts@sfbg.com

VISUAL ART Going into "Huckleberry Finn," the final installment in the Wattis Institute's trilogy of group shows organized around canonical American novels, it is perhaps best to heed the notice Mark Twain places at the outset of the text from which this exhibit takes its name and inspiration: "Persons attempting to find a motive in this narrative will be prosecuted; persons attempting to find a moral in it will be banished; persons attempting to find a plot in it will be shot."Read more »

GOLDIES 2010: Jennifer Locke

Presenting immediate spectacles that are undeniably seductive in a punk-rock sort of way

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In her pieces, Jennifer Locke has, variously, jumped rope for 30 minutes in a full-body latex suit (cutting out a hole in the bottom afterward to drain out her accumulated sweat and urine); wrestled with a partner at the Berkeley Art Museum smeared in stage blood; covered herself in Elmer's glue, let it dry into a second skin, and then peeled it off; received a lap dance from a male stripper; and branded a fellow participant.Read more »

GOLDIES 2010: Amanda Curreri

Interpolating the political and the personal, while making art that crosses out of the art world

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Five minutes into talking with Amanda Curreri over a slice and coffee at Mission Pie, I've agreed to take part in a piece she's working on as part of Shadowshop, the in-gallery artists' marketplace Stephanie Syjuco is organizing for SFMOMA's upcoming survey of work made in the past decade.

"It's called Afghanistan Insert," Curreri explains, speaking in the measured fashion of someone who carefully considers her words. "I'm trying to insert Afghanistan into SFMOMA and into San Francisco's art community."Read more »

Seeing spots

HAIRY EYEBALL: Bill Jenkins' tiny space transformation with "Lids and Dots," and Seth Koen's narwhal tribute wood sculptures

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arts@sfbg.comRead more »

Dancing with the dark

YBCA remembers butoh pioneer Kazuo Ohno

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Tick tock

HAIRY EYEBALL: Will Rogan scores with a canny show of photography at Altman-Siegel, while Hugh Brown whiffs with a bad-boy routine at Robert Koch Gallery
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arts@sfbg.com

HAIRY EYEBALL In a characteristically poetic passage within 1980's Camera Lucida, Roland Barthes describes early cameras, given their cabinet-like appearance and precise mechanical innards, as "clocks for seeing." I couldn't shake the phrase while taking in Will Rogan's "Stay Home," an ambiguous smile of a solo show composed of photographs and three-dimensional photographic collages at Altman Siegel.Read more »

Of Human Bondage

Hairy Eyeball: The totemic works of Tim Whiten and the performance actions of Rudolf Schwarzkogler present different types of opaque ritual

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King of the beach

Glitch pioneer Fennesz surfs from sun-dappled shallows into darker water

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arts@sfbg.com

MUSIC That old saw about how the Velvet Underground's first record may not have sold well but everyone who heard it went on to form their own band could also be said of Austrian composer/producer Christian Fennesz's 2001 release Endless Summer (Mego).Read more »

Totally wired

Future past: From the technology of teen life to old fashioned flair
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arts@sfbg.com

HAIRY EYEBALL The secret lives of teenagers aren't so secret. They're just password protected and might only be on view to a close circle of Facebook friends. Alternately, they might be lived via text message or on YouTube. Typically only the most sensational and tragic episodes involving wired teens seem to make the news — pregnancy pacts, cyber bullying, suicides — even if teenagers were having unprotected sex, harassing others and being harassed, or choosing to end their lives long before MySpace or smart phones. Read more »