The Global Within: Indian Art at the YBCA [Review]

The Matter Within | Saturday, October 15, 2011 – Sunday, January 29, 2011 | YBCA | San Francisco

Whether you’re conscious of it or not, when you go to an exhibition dedicated to India, you expect to encounter pieces that address certain cliches. Maybe not Bollywood or beggars, but at least the IT industry. Thankfully, “The Matter Within” stayed away from “branding” the country (unlike, for example, the YBCA‘s “Brazilian” exhibition “When Lives Become Form” that happened a few years back). The exhibition is international in outlook, taking on such themes as the legacy of colonialism, nationalism, homophobia, and exclusion. One could easily imagine that framework applied to exhibitions dedicated to a variety of regions, from Africa to Latin America to the former Eastern bloc. Maybe some works chosen for those imagined exhibitions would even turn out to be similar to those in “The Matter Within.” Whether this would be the case for a show centered exclusively on a “First World” country, such as the U.S., is a thought-provoking question–but that’s another story.

Sudarshan Shetty, No Title (from "this too shall pass"), gold leaf on fiberglass, mild steel, coin box, etched brass, 2010 — credit: Anil Rane

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ARTSEEKR Events November 22 – December 5, 2011

Left Coast Leaning, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, December 1-3, 8pm This annual performing arts festival supports diverse forms of expression. The centerpiece of this year’s edition is perhaps a multimedia work by Alexandro Segade, which “takes place in a dreamlike, sci-fi L.A. cityscape where gay marriage is state-mandated and those who don’t conform are hunted down.” Also on the bill: slam poetry (Rafael Casal), tap dancing (Jason Samuels Smith), and dance performances that explore “the sexualized black body in the realm of the spectacle” (Anna Martine Whitehead) and “the awkwardness of human beauty and the struggles of intimate negotiation” (tEEth).

Alexandro Segade, Replicant VS Separatist, Pictured: Colin Martin and Justin Streichman. Credit: Scott Groller

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Workin’ for the Weekend – eventseekr’s Top Picks for 11/11/2011-11/13/2011

It’s Wednesday, which means we’re already halfway through the work week. A.K.A.: 2 days until the weekend officially begins! As usual, San Francisco is offering a bunch of fun events this weekend, and eventseekr has the scope on the best, including the top five art exhibits opening in November. If you’re not feeling too artsy, here’s the down-low details on our top five picks for other events this weekend.

Fall Luxury Chocolate Salon

The Luxury Chocolate Salon is a seasonal chocolate show taking place at the Fort Mason Conference Center in San Francisco this Sunday, November 13th. This is a must-attend event for any serious chocolate enthusiast. The Salon will feature over 30 participants, which include not only confectioners, but also local wineries and culinary artisans. Festival highlights include chef and author talks, television interviews and of course the opportunity to taste many different wines and chocolates.

Brandt Brauer Frick Ensemble @ Rickshaw Stop

This German trio creates wonderfully unique sounds by combining classical instruments, jazz and electronic dance music. After wowing listeners with this beautiful fusion on their debut album, Brandt Brauer Frick Ensemble has transitioned away from laptop production and expanded to a ten-piece live band. They will play at the Rickshaw Stop in San Francisco this Friday, November 11th. Expect to hear the compelling texture of many layered instruments that come together to create a live performance that is unique and surprisingly dance-able.

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Workin for the Weekend – eventseekr’s Top Picks for 11/4/2011/-11/6/2011

Hooray for Wednesday! The weekend is almost here. This Wednesday is a bit more special, though, since today is Hump Day and Dia de los Muertos. If you’re looking for something fun to do tonight, try heading to the Mission District for the Festival of Altars and the Day of the Dead celebration. Otherwise, let’s see what this weekend has to offer!

Margaret Jenkins Dance Company: Light Moves at YBCA November 3-5:

In Light Moves, the Margaret Jenkins Dance Company has worked with multi-media artist Naomie Kremer, composer Paul Dresher and poet Michael Palmer to produce a visually dazzling piece that attempts to make a space where music, poetry and dance cohere with animated images of light and color. It’s a performance that challenges artists from different genres to collaborate and make a cohesive product/story, but at the same time seems almost like an experiment to see how much information an audience can absorb when so much visual stimuli is on stage at once. Personally, I think the overall effect may trigger brain overload, but since I’m not planning on ever taking any mind-altering substances that are stronger than alcohol/caffeine, this will be a truly welcome experience.

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ARTSEEKR Events November 1 – November 7, 2011

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.

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ARTSEEKR Events October 25 – October 31, 2011

This wonderful song is a blatant and unimaginative way to attract attention.

 

And now, about art. So, what should we expect from the glorious week starting October 25 (yes, my weeks start on Tuesday!!) and ending October 31?

Geof Oppenheimer, Ratio 3, October 28 – December 11. People usually associate “anarchy” with “chaos,” but an anarchist would tell you that authority-free cooperation actually results in a more perfect order, whereas an authoritarian system is what breeds chaos. That’s what I recalled when I came upon this article featuring Geof Oppenheimer’s video, Washington Color Field School, which seems to explore that kind of “authoritarian chaos” by presenting a Congressional hearing as a “theater of the absurd.” In his practice, which also embraces sculpture and photography, the artist studies violence and power. Here is an interview about Oppenheimer’s new exhibition at Ratio 3, in which he talks about the sexiness of sculpture, the aesthetics of violence, the relationships between avant-garde and politics, etc.

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ArtSeekr: Events October 18 – October 24, 2011

San Francisco has a fair amount of great art events (screenings, performances, lectures, exhibition openings, etc.) happening every week, so we decided to start this wonderful listing column. We at eventseekr blog monitor lots and lots of art venues, but something might still fall through the cracks – so if you know of any cool and under-publicized (or non-publicized) happenings, TELL US!!!

6th ATA Film & Video Festival, Artists’ Television Access, October 19-23. The ATA is a nonprofit space in the Mission dedicated to promoting exploratory film and video (or, as they say now, time-based work). Their annual festival will start with a reception on October 19th. The next two days will feature shorts’ programs zeroing in on the intriguing topics like “the physical and emotional landscapes of our world” and “the archetypal Davids and Goliaths in our experiences” (doesn’t THAT look curious?) There will also be a Super8 workshop on October 23rd, as well as a surveillance-based installation by Sam Manera during the whole month.

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