Urbanized, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, November 4-10. You have probably seen (or at least heard about) Helvetica, a popular documentary by Gary Hustwit about typography and its relationship to how we see things. Now, the YBCA will be screening Urbanized, Hustwit’s new movie which focuses primarily on urban design. You can check the detailed schedule of screenings here.
Richard Serra Films – Early Works, SF MOMA, November 1, 12pm. The museum will be screening late-sixties experimental films by Serra at a very annoying time–at noon on a Tuesday afternoon. This means that the working girls and boys who don’t have a flexible schedule (myself included) will not get to see them. Oh well. So, if you’re free and you like Serra, go to the SFMOMA and say “Hi” to his films for me. Serra’s most well-known work in this medium is perhaps Television Delivers People (1973, with Carlota Fay Schoolman), which is a bright moment in the history of mass media critique in the “age of the spectacle,” which some people say is now past. I have no idea whether the SF MOMA will show this particular piece, but you can watch it (along with some others by Serra) on Ubuweb.
First Thursday Art, San Francisco Galleries, November 3, 5.30pm – 7.30pm. On the first Thursday of each month, a number of high-profile galleries that are members of the San Francisco Art Dealers Association stay open until late. Some exhibitions I particularly recommend seeing are “David Ireland” (Gallery Paule Anglim) and “Robert Adams: Prairie, Forest, Sea” (Fraenkel Gallery). You can find the list of participating galleries here.
Man as Object: Reversing the Gaze. Opening reception with artwork dedication and performance, SOMArts, November 4, 6p – 9p. This no doubt will be one of the most peculiar exhibitions of the season. Male artists have been representing women as sexual objects for centuries–now ladies will do the same with men. A staggering 117 works will be on display. The opening will feature a performance by Chanel Matsunami Govreau, who will explore “Hapa male and Asian male sexuality, brotherhood, and the effects of interracial dating in Asian American communities from a mixed-Asian woman’s perspective.”
Worlds Within Worlds: Remembering Owen Land, Artists’ Television Access, November 4, 8pm. Honestly, before checking the ATA’s website, I had no idea who Owen Land was. The Wikipedia article about this avant-garde filmmaker states that in his work he “destroyed any sense of reality.'” According to the ATA press release, his output included “bizarre pseudo-documentaries and mis-directed educational things.” A retrospective of such a figure is certainly a welcome thing.
Meso-American Memory: Histoires of Yanqui Walker, Other Cinema, Artists’ Television Access, November 5, 8.30pm. ATA will be showing an experimental documentary about a dark historical figure, American-born Nicaraguan dictator William Walker. Also, that night will feature the launch of Jesse Lerner’s book, The Maya of Modernism, which tells about the use and abuse of “Mayan” imagery in 20th-century visual culture.
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