7 spots for mental regeneration this week

A presentation by Librotraficante Sun/1 will give you something to think about (here, the group's event in Tucson)

Pride is over, and we're willing to wager your depleted brain cells could stand for some stimulus. Whether you're into sitting in dimly-lit rooms in North Beach listening to fiction read in a thick Hungarian accent, or dressing to the nines and perusing some edgy new performance art, here are seven cultural hot spots in the city this week.

László Krasznahorka

A Hungarian author emerges from his reclusivity in the hills of Szentlászló in order to present the San Francisco literati with a reading from his novel of scheming, sex, failure, hope, communism, freaky farm collectives, tango, and the devil. Sounds like a can't-miss situation. City Lights will host celebrated author László Krasznahorka to read Satantango (yes, that’s satan-tango), the book that inspired the seven-and-a-half hour film by remodernist filmmaker, Béla Tarr. 25 years after its original publication date, the novel has finally been translated by George Szirtes, so now we plebeian Californians can get our Hungarian apocalyptic fix. 

Thu/28 7:30pm, free

City Lights Bookstore

261 Columbus, SF

(415) 362-8193


Kala Art Institute artist talks 

The busy thoroughfare of Berkeley’s San Pablo Avenue makes an appropriately unsettling backdrop for the Kala Art Institute’s first night of artist talks. From large-scale industrial sculpture, to dystopian watercolor, to engineered photographs of imaginary landscapes, artists Randy Colosky, Vanessa Marsh, and Alison Frost’s work treads an uncanny path between real and surreal. It defamiliarizes the familiar in a fashion of which even Freud would be proud. This series of talks features discussions from Kala fellows during their residencies at the gallery, so look forward to more free inspiration (and free refreshments, which are, um, always a welcome addition for any easel-toting San Francisco artist) in July, August, and September.

Wed/27, 7pm, free 

Kala Gallery 

2990 San Pablo, Berk 

(510) 841-7000


Raw SF Solstice 

Despite its strictly fashionable cocktail attire mandate and swanky SOMA venue, June’s Raw SF installation offers something for even the freakiest. With a mission to showcase and support emerging, underground artists during the first 10 years of their careers, RAW displays innovative visual art, film, fashion, music, hair and makeup artistry, photography, modeling, and performance art. San Francisco’s installation attendees can also expect henna, organic refreshments, food trucks, a DJ, and a ceremonial tea service.

Thu/28, 7pm-12am, $10 pre-sale tickets, $15 door, $5 after-party (after 9pm)

1015 Folsom, SF

(888) 729-7545


Readers Café and Bookstore poetry series

In support of the San Francisco Public Library, the dusty shelves of Readers Café and Bookstore will be available after hours for the last installment of the shop's Thursday night poetry readings. Palestinian American poet and historical children’s fiction writer Lorene Zarou-Zouzounis and San Francisco beatnik Martin Hickle will read from their respective collections, and special prices on food and drink will be on offer as you contemplate questions of life and poetry while you gaze out at the Bay from this Fort Mason storefront. 

Thu/28, 6:30pm, free

Readers Bookstore

Building C, Room 165, Fort Mason Center, SF

(415) 771-1076


"Evolve: A Woman’s Journey"

Turn what was intended to be a sangria-fueled and nail-painting girls’ night into a celebration of femininity with some real punch. The Fort Mason center showcases Patrick Stull’s work in a diverse series of art from almost all mediums – digital, oil, graphite, sculpture, casting, mixed media, and even original music that chronicles the emotional and physical experience of pregnancy. Much of the art is built to a life-size scale to deal with a subject matter that is as life-large as it gets. 

Fri/29, 9pm, $25

Fort Mason Center

2145 3rd St., SF


“Only Birds Sing the Music of Heaven in This World”

A million thanks to whoever decided to make food trendy. Combining some of the things NorCal natives hold dear (that'd be food, art, and agriculture) the Museum of Craft and Folk Art hosts a show with curator Harrell Fletcher that displays past and contemporary representations of agriculture, farming, and labor. With a certain focus on alternative farming project imagery, the show links agriculture art with social activism and community building through engaging with various genres, including folk art, outsider art, and craft. 

Sat/30, 11am-6pm, GA $5

Museum of Craft and Folk Art

51 Yerba Buena, SF

(415) 227-4888 


Librotraficante Bay Area Banned Book Reading

As school board officials threaten to ban ethnic studies books and authors -- not to mention the subject entirely -- in Arizona, Libotraficante is hosting this afternoon of readings from banned books. With more than a dozen performers set to read from controversial tomes, the event is sure to be anything but boring. 

Sun/1 noon-4:30pm, free

Koret Auditorium, San Francisco Public Library

100 Larkin, SF


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