When the ancient Polynesians invented surfing, they often used a paddle to help them navigate. Fast-forward a few millennia, and Stand-Up Paddleboarding, or SUP, finds itself trendy again. Part of its increasing popularity is that standing upright allows surfers to spot waves more easily and thus catch more of them, multiplying the fun factor. Paddling back to the wave becomes less of a strain as well. The ability to cruise along on flat inland water, surveying the sights, is another advantage. Finally, its a good core workout. If youre sold on the idea, schedule an intro SUP lesson, free with board and paddle rental, and you may find yourself riding the waves like a Polynesian king.More
Llewelynn Fletcher's immersive sculptures beguile the senses. Sasha Petrenko's site-specific installations and performances strive to capture a dynamic, living planet. Austin Thomas hides heady themes in seemingly austere drawings, photos, and sculptures. She also cobbles together site-specific social spaces which she calls "perches," but which are obviously kick-ass treehouses, minus the trees. These and other artists are contributing super-sized works for "Just Passing Through: Sculptures and Installations" at the University of San Francisco's Rooftop Sculpture Terrace. "Just Passing Through" promises to challenge notions about how we inhabit or pass through space, or at least provide a lovely respite in a busy city.
"Just Passing Through: Sculptures and Installations" is open to the public 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and runs through Dec. 11 at Kalmanovitz Hall, University of San Francisco, 2130 Fulton St., S.F. Free; 422-5178 or usfca.edu. More
Mondays-Fridays, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Continues through Dec. 11
Weird little marvels are the works of Ron Nagle, the ceramicist whose work has helped prove that a sculptor who works in clay can be a serious presence in the art world. Nagle has been making vessels and intimate-sized sculptures since the 1960s, when he was associated with the norm-busting California ceramics movement and studied with one of its prime forces, fellow abstract-expressionist Peter Voulkos. A species of one, Nagle has continued to create compelling and painstakingly crafted pieces that are elegant yet unsettling. His sculptures contain puckered surfaces, unusual textural juxtapositions, amorphous shapes, and a surreal look. His cups, some of which have been overglazed and repeatedly fired, appear to have come from a tea party on Mars. With diverse influeneces, including ceramicist Ken Price, abstractionist Cy Twombly, still-life painter Giorgio Morandi, and California cool-car culture, Nagle is a distinctive artist and a San Francisco spirit. To learn more, come hear his lecture at the San Francisco Art Institute — his first appearance there since his 1978 Adaline Kent Award exhibition.More
BayTaper.com, an online multimedia documentary featuring live audio recordings, videos, and photography has been tirelessly capturing live jazz and acoustic music in the San Francisco Bay Area since 2005.
Bill Mahers one-man stand-up attack on religious fundamentalism is a dog that has more bark than bitea skeptical, secular-humanist hounding of the hypocrites, amusingly annotated with sarcastic subtitles and clips from cheesy biblical spectacles. Religulous opens with Maher at ground zero in Israel, reporting from Megiddo, the designated spot for the Battle of Armageddon. By way of an alternative vision of the apocalypse, the movie breaks into a comic montage juxtaposing all manner of holy men, true believers, and pious polsthen licenses the comedian to spend the rest of its 101 minutes turning his blunderbuss on this barrel of fish. Although his antics are directed by Borat showman Larry Charles, Maher is hardly comparable to Sacha Baron Cohen as a trickster performance artist. Nor is Maher a swashbuckling provocateur like Michael Moore, comforting the afflicted and confronting the infidels with his intimidating bulk. Mainly, Maher is pleased to play devils advocate; occasionally he presents himself as celebrity Antichrist. The last half of the movie is more or less spent with the freaks on the carnival midway in preparation for Mahers big spiel. Throwing his own brand of snake oil on the fire, he insists that faith makes a virtue of stupidity, identifies religion as dangerous because it encourages people to believe they have all the answers, and warns the world to grow up or die. Heavy stuff.
Mon., Oct. 6, 2008