Arts & Culture

Arts & Culture

Dark sparkle

Jamie Vasta's art glitters
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johnny@sfbg.com

Sparkle, San Francisco, sparkle — the Bay Area is a birthplace for visions of glitter. The Cockettes weren't averse to throwing a few antique trunks full of metallic iridescence over their song and dance routines, and the late Jerome Caja mixed glitter with nail polish and liquid eyeliner to create a bad-acid cartoon Maybelline version of Hieronymus Bosch interpreting Dante. Jamie Vasta's use of glitter isn't as campy as the Cockettes' or as lurid as Caja's, but it's on its way to becoming just as distinctive. Read more »

Disaster preparedness

Ellen Gavin's Stardust and Empty Wagons: Stories from the Katrina Diaspora
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Above a semicircle of wooden crates arranged on a weathered wooden stage, two tattered flags of New Orleans and the United States are projected on a back screen. The flags appear to flutter in the rotating series of overlapping still images. Read more »

Well-heeled

A modern dance legend visits Japan
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Ask a dancer under 30 in Europe about Pina Bausch, and most likely you'll get a blank stare or a shrug. You might as well mention Isadora Duncan or Martha Graham. Important, yes; relevant, no. For them, Bausch, the most radical innovator of European dance in the past three decades, is passé. Read more »

Rip, role-play, and burn

Rewrite history with Jeanne D'Arc
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Jeanne D'Arc

(Sony, PSP)

GAMER I had the fortune of winning a PSP in a contest a few weeks ago, and in my hunt for an inaugural game for the system, I spotted Jeanne D'Arc on a shelf in a local toy store. Because the cover sports an awesome girl with a sword and because no one does medieval European history like the Japanese, I picked it up.

Jeanne D'Arc is historical fantasy with a plot that seems a little too familiar. Read more »

How you hate me now?

Pushing buttons with G.G. Allin and Negativland
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Hated (Special Edition)

(Music Video Distributors)

Our Favorite Things

(Other Cinema)

DVDS I must have passed the G.G. Allin documentary Hated (1994) a dozen times in the video store over the years without ever mustering the nerve to rent it. Read more »

I feel pretty

Keeping up with appearances in elastic future's Beautiful and ACT's The Rainmaker
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› a&eletters@sfbg.com

"Make my world beautiful," commands the (drag) queen (Flynn Witmeyer) of her corseted courtiers. The incantation naturally has something defiant and (given our location in a loft on Capp near 16th Street) maybe even a little urgent about it, summoning the new Eden as an unruly if royal realm of gender-blurring sexual role play and uninhibited frolic. Naturally too there's bound to be trouble in paradise, the intruder in this instance being no snake but rather a pair of slithering fish-head waiters. Read more »

"Android"

Ray Potes pays homage to the history of film-based photography
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REVIEW In the grand scheme of things, the mission of Hamburger Eyes is an admirable one: to perpetuate the life of film-based photography, its processing, and its printing. Read more »

Goldie winner -- Dance: Shinichi Iova-Koga

Butoh and beyond that mesmerizes
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Shinichi Iova-Koga's work is grotesque, beautiful, and funny. As a dancer he is never less than mesmerizing — ephemeral like smoke, limpid like a vernal pool. And yet he is an accidental dancer. The son of two painters, he was initially drawn to photography; at age 12 his bathroom doubled as a darkroom. Then, at San Francisco State University, he became a film major. Read more »

Goldie winner -- Visual art: Jenifer K. Wofford

Disarming humor that's armed with liminal intent
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Hey framer, don't try to frame Jenifer K. Wofford. She'll turn that frame into a threshold. Her creative identity ricochets from teacher to student to painter to performer to director to curator with a self-determining force that exposes the mutability of such labels.

In May, Point of Departure, Wofford's evolving series of postcard-size portraits of Filipina nurses, was a highlight (along with understated contributions by Bill Jenkins and Alicia McCarthy) of the UC Berkeley MFA show at the Berkeley Art Museum. Read more »

Goldie winner -- Dance/Performance: Keith Hennessy

Cabaret and spectacle with an activist attack
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"Citizens. Wake Up. A new day is dawning in San Francisco and all over the world."

Keith Hennessy, "A Speech to the Poor Artists," San Francisco City Hall, Oct. 4, 2000

Keith Hennessy has made work in the Bay Area for more than 20 years, yet he has stayed at the margins all this time. Yes, his audiences are good, and they show up time after time to watch his latest work, but he hasn't gotten the grants that would allow him to do big tours or reach a more mainstream audience. Maybe he prefers it that way. Read more »