Wednesday, January 12, 2005
We doubt we're the only ones who browse galleries full of images of hot chicks and wonder how the works are art and not porn. Let's tot up the similarities between this genre of art and Playboy: Women under age 30? Check. No cellulite? Check. Outsize breasts on a bony frame? Check and check. So when we first heard about Timothy Greenfield-Sanders' new show, "XXX: 30 Porn Star Portraits,"we weren't sure what to expect. How sad, we thought, that a man known for depictions of icons like Warhol runs out of ideas and turns to T&A. Then we got a look. Sure, the photos include tender vixens like Jenna Jameson -- but they also run to aging performers like Ron Jeremy, posed both naked and clothed in sweet, striking diptychs that reveal more than just skin. "XXX" opens today at 9:30 a.m. (and runs through Feb. 12) at the John Berggruen Gallery, 228 Grant (at Post), S.F. Admission is free; call 781-4629 or visit www.berggruen.com.
Thursday, January 13, 2005
The idea for the Typophile Film Festival is fonts: letter designs, fancy printing, or as organizers say, "words that move, and words that will move you." For people who look at type a lot, this miniature movie fest is like glorious, unashamed navel-gazing -- but anyone interested in design should know that font people are dead serious about the integrity of their field, and produce work to match that attitude. The pieces here use images taken from TV, the Web, and other sources, all with the object of celebrating fine typography. Industry heavyweight FontShop is one of the sponsors, offering giveaways and drawings for letter-perfect prizes to go with the text-obsessed flicks, starting at 7 p.m. at the 111 Minna Gallery, 111 Minna (at Second Street), S.F. Admission is free; call 974-1719 or visit www.111minnagallery.com.
Friday, January 14, 2005
The tragic thing about tonight's Bad Porno Fest is that awful video clips are all too easy to find. Besides the usual turnoffs (fake tits, wretched music), the vast majority of adult features showcase bad acting, ridiculous dialogue, and, worst of all, unenthusiastic sex. In other words, Violet Blue (author of The Ultimate Guide to Adult Videos, among other naughty titles) is really going to have to dig deep to find smut god-awful enough to impress her audience. With any luck, attendees will be exposed to excerpts like our favorite bit of truly heinous erotica, a "furniture porn" movie that featured sheet-covered men and women getting off by pretending to be armchairs and ottomans. The festival continues through tomorrow with the spoken-word "Porno Slam"; tonight's watch-a-thon begins at 8 at the Center for Sex & Culture, 398 11th St. (at Harrison), S.F. Admission is $10-20; call 255-1155 or visit www.sexandculture.org.
Saturday, January 15, 2005
It's a bird! It's a plane! It's Zaccho Dance Theatre's fearless leader, Joanna Haigood! The Bay Area dancer is known, and admired, for aerial work involving climbing harnesses and guide cables. Her choreography tends to use buildings, nature, and interesting cultural situations as both inspiration and stage: She made a dance about real-life Rosie the Riveters, for example, that took place over and around a ship berthed in the Rosie-heavy town of Richmond, while the audience watched from seats on deck. Tonight her collaborator Remy Charlip's Air Mail Dances are the foundation for Haigood's solo performance of Dances Around the House, in which Charlip's signature dance scores, or drawings of movements, have been put together, set to music, and interpreted by the flying lady. They've also been treated to custom sets made by sculptor Wayne Campbell and suspended above the Exploratorium's Distorted Room. Look up at 8 p.m. at 3601 Lyon (at Marina), S.F. Admission is free with museum entry (free-$12), but donations are welcome; call 822-6744 or visit www.zaccho.org.
Sunday, January 16, 2005
In our opinion, one of the funniest live acts in the world is Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo, but we can't be sure whether this is due to emotional wounds from our own indentured ballet servitude or something else entirely. Little matter, since there seem to be plenty of people who agree with us, scarring or no. Audiences fond of the traditional forms of drag and dance adore these guys, and have for the past 20-odd years. The concept is simple: Men perform women's roles in camped-up versions of classics by Balanchine, Petipa, and their hoary peers. The execution, however, is more complex, since dressing up in women's clothes is seldom more punishing than when the costume includes resting the entire weight of your starvation-wracked body on two square inches of tiptoe. But the Trocks are professionals, and if they're weeping inside, you'll be laughing your ass off at 3 p.m. at the Marin Center Veterans Memorial Auditorium, 10 Avenue of the Flags (at Civic Center), San Rafael. Admission is $18-45; call 499-6800 or visit www.trockadero.org.
Monday, January 17, 2005
This year's San Francisco International Art Exposition looks like it'll live up to its name. If an event is going to shoulder that moniker, it had damn well better offer work by Warhol, O'Keeffe, Hockney, de Kooning, and Avedon, and this one does. Although geared somewhat toward the very high tax bracket of collectors and curators and their ilk, the expo is also open to the unwashed masses -- we plain old art lovers. The big-name pieces are accompanied by the work of younger, hungrier artists, and the mediums featured include painting, video installation, sculpture, and everything in between. Today's the last day of the show, so get there when it starts at 11 a.m. at the Fort Mason Center, Buildings A-E, Marina & Buchanan, S.F. Admission is $10-12; visit www.sfiae.com.